Plant haul from Arizona (May 2021)

My plant haul from my Arizona trip is cactus-heavy this time. I did have a shopping list, but as always, some surprises managed to sneak their way in.

I'd planned to get two Echinopsis hybrids (or Trichocereus if you prefer), 'Flying Saucer' and 'First Light', to put in the space recently vacated by Agave 'Crazy Horse'. But when I saw how beautiful the yellow-and-white flowers of 'June Noon' are, and when Jeff Moore of Arid Adaptations Nursery told me that it reblooms throughout the summer, I had to have it, too.

Top left: Echinopsis 'June Noon', top right: Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer', bottom: Echinopsis 'First Light'

Four agaves came home with me:

Agave ocahui, perfect when I bought it at Bach's Cactus Nursery, but it got agave edema on the way home from being stuck in the back of the car where it was hot and relatively dark. It'll outgrow it, but I'm still bummed.

Agave pelona from Greg Starr made the trip without damage--whew!

Agave 'Raptor' (uncertain parentage, but possibly involving Agave isthmensis)

Agave megalodonta, a recently described species (2019) related to Agave xylonacantha. I'm very happy Greg Starr was willing to part with one. I love those teeth!

Agave megalodonta

Aloe fleurentiniorum (left) and Cheiridopsis caroli-smithii (right) from Boyce Thompson Arboretum are the two oddballs in my haul. They were priced very reasonably and I would have been foolish not to grab them.

Particularly twisty Astrophytum capricorne from Bach's Cactus Nursery. If I had to give it a cultivar name, I'd call it 'Soft Serve Swirl'.

Mammillaria perbella hybrid (top left), Mammillaria plumosa hybrid (top right), Mammillaria perbella (bottom). These were on my list. They form small mounds over time, and I will use them to fill in bare spots in the front yard.

Mammillaria compressa, another clumping mam used to great effect in the Huntington Desert Garden (see here)

Four small cactus from the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, all very reasonably priced. Top: Thelocactus bicolor, Ferocactus peninsulae. Bottom: Escobaria missouriensis, Mammillaria standleyi

Ferocactus robustus, a small clumping barrel cactus from Jeff Moore (I want to recreate this)

Ferocactus gracilis var. coloratus from Greg Starr. One of the most beautiful of all barrel cactus, in my opinion. This one had been on my list.

Ferocactus emoryi from Jan Emming, an impulse buy based on the amazing spines and the purple tinge

Two particularly prickly dudes from Jan Emming: Cylindropuntia × campii (left), Echinocereus engelmanni (right). I can't believe a bought a cholla (left), but this hybrid is amazing (see here at the Desert Botanical Garden).

More spiny characters: Echinocereus yavapaiensis (top) and Echinocereus polyacanthus ssp. pacificus (bottom), both from Greg Starr. I have quite a hedgehog/claret cup collection going. I like Echinocereus because their flowers typically last longer than most cactus flowers.

One final cactus to show you, this one the strangest one by far: Astrophytum caput-medusae. If you think it looks like a bunch of dead sticks, you wouldn't be the only one. This oddity was described in 2002 as Digitostigma caput-medusae but later moved to the genus Astrophytum based on floral characteristics. Either way, it's weird and wonderful. It's reputed to grow in only one location in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, and it's uncommon in the trade as well.

Beautiful flower of Astrophytum caput-medusae

Here are my plant purchases in one handy list (meant primarily for my own purposes):

Agave 'Raptor'Greg Starr
Agave megalodontaGreg Starr
Agave ocahuiBach's Cactus Nursery
Agave pelonaGreg Starr
Aloe fleurentiniorumBoyce Thompson Arboretum
Astrophytum caput-medusaeJeff Moore
Cheiridopsis caroli-schmidtiiBoyce Thompson Arboretum
Cylindropuntia × campiiJan Emming
Dudley ingensCalifornia Botanic Garden
Dudleya multicaulisCalifornia Botanic Garden
Echinocereus engelmannii 'Variegatus'Jan Emming
Echinocereus polyacanthus ssp. pacificusGreg Starr
Echinocereus yavapaiensisGreg Starr
Echinopsis 'First Light'Bach's Cactus Nursery
Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer'Jeff Moore
Echinopsis 'June Noon'Jeff Moore
Escobaria missouriensisBoyce Thompson Arboretum
Ferocactus emoryiJan Emming
Ferocactus peninsulaeBoyce Thompson Arboretum
Ferocactus robustusJeff Moore
Mammillaria compressaJeff Moore
Mammillaria perbellaBoyce Thompson Arboretum
Mammillaria perbella hybridJeff Moore
Mammillaria plumosa hybridJeff Moore
Mammillaria standleyiBoyce Thompson Arboretum
Thelocactus bicolorBoyce Thompson Arboretum

The Mammillaria perbella hybrid from Jeff Moore is in the ground already. The others will be planted out over time; I want to outwait the heat wave expected to come in any day now.

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  1. A very productive trip! I love how you intersperse photos of inspirational plantings for some of your choices. And that new Agave megaladonta looks very promising.

  2. Love the campii! Saw it when I was there in Jan. Gorgeous and the subtle rust color is choice. Probably a little scary but worth it. Great purchases.

  3. Wow you came home with lots of spikiness. I love the Astrophytum and your naming is quite apt. I hope you also came home with a pair of thick gloves too


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