Sclerocactus parviflorus

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DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20
Sclerocactus parviflorus

Sclerocactus parviflorus

Flower and new starts out the sides and ant damage

and ant damage

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Hi Aaron

Nice looking Schlero. A little strange to see the flower developing so low on the side of the stem. Mine has only bloomed from the apex.
What kind of ants are chewing on it? Harvester? What ever they are they must be after moisture, I can't think what else they would want. Don't know about you but I'd be on the war path!!  >:(

How old do you estimate this plant is? The spines look like mine when it was still a juvenile. It took about four years before mine started to develop the long fish hook central spines.

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

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

Hi John,
This is the ant that does it, it does not look like the harvesters I have here.  It is an ant that likes aphids and sweet stuff, kind of a troubled pest, but they are the only thing that can pollenate my yuccas because I don't have yucca moths here.  The cover the seed pods sometimes and will chew holes into them and sometimes give seed.
They were wild here before I moved out here.

Here is a seed pod they pollenated, and the seed was fertile. :)

 

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Ya  that's not a harvester. Kind of reminds me of the Western Thatching Ants. The type that build those largish grass and stick mounds. If that's the case the most likely species is Formica obscuripes.
http://www.davidlouisquinn.com/pogolumina_OA_FobscuripesInfo.htm

Interesting that they pollinate your yuccas flowers on occasion. I've never seen that before.

Here are a couple of photos of my plant.

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

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

Weiser wrote:

Ya  that's not a harvester. Kind of reminds me of the Western Thatching Ants. The type that build those largish grass and stick mounds. If that's the case the most likely species is Formica obscuripes.
http://www.davidlouisquinn.com/pogolumina_OA_FobscuripesInfo.htm

Interesting that they pollinate your yuccas flowers on occasion. I've never seen that before.

Here are a couple of photos of my plant.

Thanks for the ant page!  I have tried to find that ant on the web.  That is what it is. ;)
Nice cactus, is that as tall as it will get? 
PS do you have yucca moths in your area?

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

I don't know how tall they get. I don't think more than eight to ten inches. It is as round as a softball and expands a little each year. There is a lot of variation in the growth habit and flower color in this species.

http://www.cactus-art.biz/schede/SCLEROCACTUS/Sclerocactus_parviflorus/S...

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242415288

In answer to you inquiry, no Yuccas are not native to this region of Nevada so no yucca moths around.

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

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

Thanks for the info.
I was thinking because Reno is so big some moths my have invaded from yuccas shipments?  I know I get a lot of doubt when I tell people that ants pollinated my yuccas and not moths. :D

Are you feeling better?

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

It's been a good year since my incident no problems at all. I just saw the heart doctor every this is OK and I feel great. I should be around for a while!

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

DesertZone
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-08-20

The is great news :)

I have enjoyed all the seed you gave me, but so has the wildlife.  Now I know why you don't see eriogonum as seedlings.  I had a bunch come up, but then one morring they are all but gone. >:(  I have been protecting the few I still have. ;)

Dry garden, little irrigation, 9" precip

Shoshone Idaho USA. Zone 5b-6a

Hot and dry in the summer, cold and snow in the winter.

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