Contents of the Summer 2012 Northants News

                    The Zone Show                                       Trevor Wray

As I am sure you know, our branch hosted the Zone Show this year at Giffard Park. There was a fair turn out from Zone exhibiters but I felt a bit disappointed, some of the classes were not well supported, and in some there was not the quality of plants we expect to see at Zone level. Indeed I might have won some thirds by default and some higher cards by merit, if of course I had brought the plants! Though I was not too pleased when the Judges ignored my exhibit in the Parodia class when there were just four entries; must try harder there.

However there were some really cracking good plants and some interesting ones scattered around to feature in our mag.

Best Cactus was Mike Stanbie’s Mammillaria lindsayi, which was superb, scoring highly for both maturity and condition.

Bob Potter’s Dorstenia crispa was judged best Succulent. This curious member of the fig family requires careful cultivation and especially warmth. It comes from Kenya and Somalia.

Judges Ian Thwaites and John Foster

Above: Judges Ian Thwaites and John Foster consider the finer points of a Thelocactus.

Mammillaria lindsayi

Dorstenia crispa

Tpithelantha micromeris

Above: Mike Stansbie’s superb Mammillaria lindsayi was the best cactus at the show.

Above: Bob Potter’s well grown plant of Dorstenia gigas was immaculately presented and won best succulent in the show.

Above: The Ed’s favourite - Epithelantha micromeris. There's something about Epithelanthas - you can keep Ariocarpus.


Pedilanthus macrocarpus

Left:  Among the curiosities and voted ‘Most Ugly’ by this reporter was a monstrous, montrose Pedilanthus macrocarpus. It seems to have a problem!



Above: Guess who was one of the nurserymen?

John Betteley BCSS Judge

Ophionella willowmorensis

John Betteley is telling us about this rare ‘thing’. It is so rare it is not in Mrs Dell’s spellchecker.

From the IHSP I learnt that it was described in 1999 by Peter Bruyns in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, (which I do not read very often). The IHSP says that it is ‘a distinct tiny species endemic to sandstone slabs of the Witteberg in the Eastern Cape.

John is one of our very experienced, senior judges. Another of our very experienced, senior judges added this wisdom, ‘it looks like fags ends in an ashtray’.

Ophionella willowmorensis

Above: Ophionella willowmorensis

Ian Thwaites

Left; Ian Thwaites did an able job of judging the Show. He is a very capable photographer as well and brought some of his images along for sale at the Show.

While looking on the net for his website (, I naturally perused some of his beautiful images and this ‘fun’ one on the right. Thanks Ian.

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