Contents Volume 25. No 3
|Editorial and more||Trevor Wray|
|The World's biggest cactus flowers||Colin C. Walker & Marjorie Thorburn|
|Mesembs and more at Banstead||Roland Tebbenham|
|A Weekend at ELK||Trevor Wray|
and Marjorie were lucky enough to see Hylocereus
its flowers while in Tenerife. Read about the largest cactus flowers in
the World here
EDITORIAL and more.....
Welcome to this issue
of our magazine, prepared and printed with great care befitting the cactus (and
succulent) community of Northampton, Bedford and Milton Keynes.
REAL Show even in the evening?
As you know the branch has been staging a display rather than a show for a couple of years. Publicity, profit and less hassle, who’s to argue with that? This year the committee decided to upgrade the evening mini-show to something approaching a real show: qualified judges, prize cards, diplomas and a cup. Just twenty classes but we had to have something realistic for just three hours.
The show was well supported; nine exhibiters staged 140 exhibits with 150 cacti and succulents on the staging. Experienced judges John Watmough and Bill Darbon travelled from Oxford to judge the show efficiently and after the break gave a commentary on their decisions, which we found instructive. There were some interesting plants brought along especially by Tina and Colin. Did you think that Aeoniums came only from the Canary Islands? Colin brought one native to the Yemen, from a disjunct population.
Right: The Ed’s favourite… Haworthia limifolia var. striata. OK, it’s relatively easy to grow, not very big, only a succulent etc., etc. But still a really beautiful piece of natural art.
When it came to the prizes they were well spread. Point-wise Tina pipped Barry for the most and the Rixon Cup. And I came a long way behind; with the ignominy of coming fourth of four in one class!
was potting-on some Lithops recently. I grow many seedlings in a pot until they
are large enough for individual pots. Job complete, I had four pots of… of…
Where had the label gone? Eventually hand inspecting all the labels under the
potting bench, (had all these plants really died?), I found a label reading Lithops
turbiniformis var. lutea C028 S76. So this species was sown in 1976 and was correctly named then.
I pulled out my Coles’ Lithops and looked up hookeri, the present name for turbiniformis. I was happy that these were L.
hookeri but that
seemed wrong. ’Lutea’ means yellow and these gave
the impression of being red.
the description of the variety lutea the Coles had written “Not
significantly different in colour from the type, and certainly not yellow as the
name would suggest.” De
Boer’s choice of name was apparently unfortunate and misleading. But the
pictures of C028 were a good match for my four plants so I was happy I had found
the original label.
the non-yellow lutea
is one to file away with the paraguayense
from Mexico, the big pumila and the large flowered parviflora.
snapshot you see on the left is of a picture for sale in the auction in
aid of the Conservation Fund of the BCSS at the National Convention. The
original is described as a chromolithographed plate by Johanna Beckmann.
The species is Phyllocactus
(what we would
now call Epiphyllum
'Loebneri'), and the plate was taken from Die
Gartenwelt. Illustriertes Wochenblatt für den gesamten Gartenbau
published in 1916.
The artist and poet
Johanna Beckmann was well-known for her silhouette paintings for the royal
porcelain factory and her paper-cuttings. At the turn of the century she
started to work for the gardener and publisher Max Hesdörffer. For his
Gartenwelt she painted this fine colour-plate published in 1916. This sort
of plant was popular with the rich who grew them in ‘stove houses’.
I am not sure what the auction price was at the convention but a copy is for sale on the internet for €70.
branch open day
The branch enjoyed a
wonderful few hours at the open day at Pete and Debbie Tomlinson’s
garden and greenhouses in August. The weather was distinctly threatening
on the journey over; lightning and flooding was the aftermath of a US
hurricane ’(Big) Bertha’. (What an original name for a strong wind.)
Fortunately the sun came out to welcome the visitors and tea and chocolate
cupcakes set the Ed’s diet back a week.
grows many succulents, (not too many cacti around but I wasn’t
complaining), and especially Echeveria and Sempervivum. I like these! I
know there are a huge number of Sempervivum cultivars and quite a lot of
them are grown here. Hundreds? Pete didn’t know. I noted many named
clones of Sempervivum
slower growing species with great variability. These were mostly growing
outside along with the Echeverias. You will recall (from the 2013
barbeque) that Steve Purr also grows them outside for the summer and their
plants are testimony that this method of cultivation actually works very
well. Naturally the plants are brought into a greenhouse for the colder
months but they do not require much (or any) heating.
As the storm clouds
rolled over again we left for home, the Ed with a few scrounged
Sempervivum rosettes. They were chosen carefully as something different
from the few dozen I grow. They certainly had names new to me. So, some
living souvenirs and a dozen photos to remind me of a most interesting
Thank you, Debbie and Pete.
have some ‘end of year reports’ in this issue. Colin and Marjorie bring us Hylocereus
remarkable for its type location, (China apparently), and the size of its
flowers. Diana and Jeff had a nice outing to Wisley,
Roland enjoyed mesembs at Banstead
and I got to ELK
on and enjoy.