Or rather, to the north of – as we headed back north along MEX101, the way we had come yesterday. Soon SatNav suggested a left turn, than through a small settlement, squeezing our way through the narrow lanes, to arrive at the coordinates (S3107) where others had found the plants some 10 years ago, but I’m sure visited by others more recently. An article by a Mexican published in 2008 blames collecting by foreigners as the main cause for its decline. Not the quarrying on the location where in 2011 we found many plants? I’d be surprised if we’d find any plants here.
So what were we looking for? Obregonia denegrii! And at the location well-known and documented in on-line field number lists as the San Antonio location, we found them by the million. If the numbers had declined, they must have been growing in double or triple layers before! I met a Mexican on a bike who stopped for a chat. I showed him some of the images I had taken and keen to help, he parked his bike, took his axe and offered to take out a small tree and some shrubs to allow me to take a picture of Echinocereus pentalophus with seven flowers wide open. No thank you, I’ll just walk around the tree to get the shot, no problem. Have a nice day!
So what image to select? one with a carpet of plants or a close up of just one or two? or a really large, old, but slightly marked plant? or one of the few found in flower or ….. This will have to do for now:
Also here were Echinocereus pentalophus, in flower:
The images are taking an age to upload, so others like a long tubercled form of Ariocarpus trigonus and Astrophytum forms, some in flower will have to wait.
I’ll have to look up the name of the Ceroid in flower when I get home. Myrtillocactus geometrizans was also here, in flower and there were lots of ‘flat Mammillaria‘ – the type that you could grow in your lawn and mow over without damage, even on a low setting. I call them Mam heyderi, but understand that there many local names, depending on where they are. The Astrophytum myriostigma was very variable, making a nonsense of some of the form names around in cultivation.
The complete plant list for this stop (S3107) is: Aloe vera (cultivated), Ariocarpus trigonus, Astrophytum myriostigma, Coryphantha sp, Echinocereus pentalophus, Ferocactus hamatacanthus, Ferocactus histrix, Mammillaria baumii, Mammillaria sp., Myrtillocactus geomatrizans, Obregonia denegrii, Opuntia microdasys + O. sp. Stenocereus (Rittercereus) pruinosus ? and Tillandsia recurvata.
Also on the plant list is a lizard – to be fair, it’s more a photo index list than a purist plants-only list. The horned lizard, when anxious, will squirt blood from its eye for a distance of 5 ft to put off its attacker. Fortunately it was not too frightened by me.
After some 90 minutes of indulging our cameras, we carried on for another 5 km along the track, to check the extend of the Obregonia population. Everything we had seen was still there, but this time Ian spotted two small Mammillaria not seen earlier. Mammillaria melaleuca is from this area and that is the name I’ll stick with for now until I show my Mammillaria and other associated genera images at this year’s Mammillaria Society’s AGM to put the learned members of the Society on the spot. Any information helps! (After a few presentations of ‘Mexico 2014 highlights’ in the UK, Mammillaria baumii seems a better fit)
We’ve extended our stay in Jaumave for another night, to take a look at another road near by to see what grows there. This is really turning into an amazing trip in terms of spectacular plants. No doubt I’ll have to make more trips, as today’s Thelocactus count was zero.