Contents of the Spring 2012 Northants News
repair or how to DIY
Thelocactus Repair 2 Trevor Wray
anonymous contributor has immediately introduced a potential moral
dilemma. I always thought there was a clause in the ‘Guide to Shows’
forbidding any "guise or ruse" in presenting an exhibit.
I can't find those words in the present Guide. Does that mean you can do
any repairs to a show plant? I can’t think why it has never been
broached at the Judges’ Course. Can they think that exhibiters never
cheat? Is it cheating?
The old-timers used to write of filling holes with Plasticine and painting over scars. Everyone has heard how the wise men used to wash the hairy spines of the Old Man cactus, Cephalocereus, in Omo. (Gets ‘em whiter than white!) But is that a ruse?
Good news is that this is just a baby hexaedrophorus, (although fiercely armed) and needs to be quite a bit larger to be a show plant. By that time the damage (and repair) will have disappeared at compost level.
But what if it were a show plant? I mean if the judge can't see the repair and gives it a prize or does see the repair and actually disqualifies the plant, (can they?), or just downgrades the plant because the areole is damaged. Goodness knows!
|Above: The finished repair and no one but Northants News readers (and a few million internet readers) any the wiser (smiley face) (Ed: I think I’ve got one of those!)|
judging exhibits most of the points are awarded for ‘Condition’ and
‘Maturity’ and judges look specifically for the lack of broken spines on
cacti as one of the signs of a plant in good condition. Of course a really
mature (or old) plant may pick up a few scars over the years but a lost areole
in a prominent position is fairly drastic.
hexaedrophorus is the type species of the genus. It is very variable with
several named varieties. Looking in John Pilbeam’s excellent handbook the type
variety is illustrated with two plants which are so different in their spination
as to hardly be the same species. It is potentially a large growing species but
is quite slow. Although on this plant the spines are very prominent at the
moment, it is like many large growing Gymnocalyciums in that they do not grow
much longer and seem more in proportion to the plant as it matures.
the names associated with hexaedrophorus, ’fossulatus’ is the one for me.
Sometimes considered a variety, it has a grey body and is especially slow