Echinocereus triglochidiatus complex

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Weiser
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Joined: 2009-12-04
Echinocereus triglochidiatus complex

Echinocereus triglochidiatus is found growing various habitats of the Mojave Desert, in the states of NV, UT, CO, CA, AZ, and TX also into northern Mexico. Look for it on rocky slopes, hill country scrub lands, open forest lands, rocky outcroppings and cliff faces.

This species is comprised of a complex group of local populations. In this variable species the appearances of these populations differ markedly. There are many designated forms and varieties, however at this point they are not all are universally recognized. It is in my opinion best to use the collection location (if known)to differentiate between the differant forms.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus grow as upright mounding groups of cylindrical stems. From a few to hundreds of clumping stems. Stems are usually dark green and can be up six inches across. In White Sands, New Mexico they can stand up to thirty inches tall but across most of their range 12-24 inches is more of an average. The ribs can vary from as few as 5 to as many as 12.

Spine shapes, thickness, count, length and color vary widely. 3-11 spines per areole straight to curved or twisted. White to yellow, or gray to almost black. Angular in cross section to oval.

The flowers are tubular long lasting, dark scarlet to bright orange red with a thick waxy look. The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds but I have also seen many a bee dive in to retrieve some pollen. I have never seen the hummers at the flowers. By the time they bloom for me (mid to late June) the hummingbirds are in the mountains feeding. They don't like the summer heat.

Good drainage, full sun exposure and regular deep soakings once every week or two produce healthy actively growing clumps. Chilly sunny winters to promote blossoms. They grow in areas that receave monsoon rains in the summer so like an intermittent soaking through the summer. Hardiness varies from highs of about 20 F (-6 C) to 0 F> (-17> C) depending on the population. I have heard they can take colder temps but have not grown them any colder.

They are touchy about being moved once established and if you have to move them, (bite the bullet) leave them out of the ground in the shade for a minimum of two weeks before you replant them. They rot easily if the wounds inflicted by the move have not callused over properly. When you can't stand to see them out of the ground anylonger and must replant them or go insane, (bite the bullet again) do not water them for at least two weeks.

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242415252
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Pink%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/ech...

The following shots are of mature plants growing in the garden of Charles Barnum , a friend who also lives and gardens in Sparks, NV. you should be able to see some of the variation in growth and appearance I mentioned.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Fantastic variation in spination (is that a word?), I like them all, but the last one is spectacular.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I second that, Mark, the last one takes the prize! It seems to be a special kind of red and set against the green, not so very spiny compared to the other two, body of the plant it looks fantastic!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

I'm glad you like them they are stunning to see in bloom on a sunny summer day.

Here are closer shots of the forms with heavy gray spines. These were collected in the mountains of north central New Mexico
The last one has a female Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) feeding.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Truly awesome color, and I never would have guessed all those variations would be the same species, if the flowers didn't give me a clue first.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Yes, a very fascinating color and the spiniest are are as good as the (almost) spineless! Are hummingbirds important pollinators for these plants?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Hoy
Yes hummingbirds are a key pollinator in their native habitat. I have seen bees work on the flowers also but the flowers are adapted to favor the hummingbirds.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

Typical E. coccineus and E. triglochidiatus both usually have scarlet flowers, but in the southern reaches of their range often hybridize with E. dasyacanthus, and then you get an amazing range of taxa that have been classed as E. x roetteri or E. x lloydii depending on your taste.

I am attaching a picture of a pale pink x lloydii and one of the biggest clumps of coccineus I have encountered next to my nervous girlfriend near Moab a few years ago. Went back to the same clump this past spring and it was still gorgeous...

I have quite a few pix of other claret cup forms on my Picasa album: http://picasaweb.google.com/panayoti.kelaidis/CactusAndNAmericanSucculents#

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Weiser wrote:

Hoy
Yes hummingbirds are a key pollinator in their native habitat. I have seen bees work on the flowers also but the flowers are adapted to favor the hummingbirds.

Thanks John! not unexpected!

Kelaidis wrote:

Typical E. coccineus and E. triglochidiatus both usually have scarlet flowers, but in the southern reaches of their range often hybridize with E. dasyacanthus, and then you get an amazing range of taxa that have been classed as E. x roetteri or E. x lloydii depending on your taste.

I am attaching a picture of a pale pink x lloydii and one of the biggest clumps of coccineus I have encountered next to my nervous girlfriend near Moab a few years ago. Went back to the same clump this past spring and it was still gorgeous...

I have quite a few pix of other claret cup forms on my Picasa album: http://picasaweb.google.com/panayoti.kelaidis/CactusAndNAmericanSucculents#

You have an impressive album, Kelaidis, I would love to grow more cacti and other succulents but the space indoors and the climate outdoors set limits!

It's two nice motifs in your last picture but the vote goes to. . . .

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

PK that is a nice clump of E. coccineus.  ;D
Please correct me if I am wrong but some of the main differences between E. coccineus and E. triglochidiatus is the chromosome count and the imperfect (dioecious) flowers found in some populations of E. coccineus. 

http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_p036/rmrs_p036_438_443.pdf

Here is an article that covers the hybridization involved in creating E. x lloydii. 

http://www.springerlink.com/content/W26882T152152355/fulltext.pdf

And here are a few pictures of my E. x lloydii.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

Wondeful color on your x lloydii! Do you ever get seed? It would be really interesting to grow seed out of that and see what the next generation would yield...

In my experience, E. coccineus blooms several weeks before E. triglochidiatus where their ranges overlap (or in the garden) and coccineus makes much denser, bigger clumps and is generally much spinier. And its flowers often have more orange in them. E. triglochidiatus also tends to have fewer spines, and much bigger ones and often has enormous stems (up to nearly 3' in the famous White Sands form) and the stems are often a dark bluegreen color. The flower color is usually a crimson rather than scarlet in flower color (all these are generalizations, I know)...but based on seeing hundreds of plants over time in gardens and the wild. They are all wonderful!

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

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