Frailea castanea seedling
I have 5 seed producing plants in a large planter. I took a shot of a seedling more than two years ago. These plants were all sold at a Connecticut Cactus and Succulent Society meeting in NJ this past summer.
I have fresh seed from time to time. If anyone wants any, its yours for the postage. If I get a huge amount of requests, know that seed availability is subject to the plant production. I'll keep a list of those that want them and fill as I can.
This seedling is two weeks old and the scale divisions are 1/32 inch. Photo was shot Sept 8, 2009. Fertilizing with Potassium Mono Phosphate or KH2PO4 @ 1.14 gm/US gal for 6 months, then 3.78 gm KH2PO4 /gal until about 0.5 inch diameter. Water pH 5.0 with Nitric Acid or HNO3. These fertilizing directions came out of one of my cactus books. The Nitric Acid is used because the Frailea do need acid soil conditions to thrive. It also works great to dissolve any mineral build up in the soil. Frailea do well for me when kept moist almost all of the time.
This is the pot just after it was set up in June 28, 2009. Two of the plants were started in 2000. The others were purchased commercially earlier in 2009. Potting mix is 50/50 Coir and crushed sandstone with coarse pieces unscreened out.
I still have these cacti and I have spread seeds all over the surface of the planter and now have maybe 20 more established seedlings of various ages. Largest are maybe 1/2" in diameter now. I even had some mushrooms start to grow in the corner of this pot where I transplanted a clump of grass of unknown type. It may have even been a sedge. It never really grew, but I've left it in the pot dried out for other interest. I'd really like to get the Selaginella species that grows in Uruguay where these cacti are found, S. sellowii. I'd love to plant it in this pot for a more realistic look.
I had one person from Indonesia take me up on my seed offer above. He was able to get 5 seedlings established. His humidity is way too high and this makes it difficult to grow these cacti. He had seedling damping off. These plants do like a fairly moist growing media.
My seed offer still stands. I have lots of seed capsules I have not even opened up that are from 2013. They are fresh for germination and more keep coming every few weeks. These plants have two types of flowers: cleistogamous, ones which never open and self pollinate in the bud stage. The second type opens with a yellow flower, but I have only seen these in the late fall when it is really sunny out. They don't open on a cloudy day.
Article on Frailea and Cleistogamy: http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?opt...331&Itemid=212
Two part article on Frailea in habitat, very excellent article. The author was doing his PhD research on the Notocactus group of Parodia in southern Brazil and kept seeing the Frailea. He decided to photograph them and write about them as well: http://www.frailea.com/Articles/CactusWorld25_1.htm http://www.frailea.com/Articles/CactusWorld25_2.htm
After reading about how sheep eat these cacti and then seeing photo's of the plants regrowth into bigger clumps, I am tempted to cut one of my plants off to see if it regrows into a larger clump. Maybe I should just let the pot stay outdoors where the local chipmunks can get at it and eat the heads off. They have already done this to a few of my really prize cacti and killed them. Pelecyphora aselliformis 12 year old plants.
Last edited by jerrysmith; 07-23-2013 at 08:48 PM.
I took a few photo's today of this collection of Frailea. I have way more than 20 plants in this planter. I tried some crude painting to remove the distracting background .
Originally Posted by jerrysmith
Those are some very well grown and great looking plants Jerry.
You might not have to lop off a cacti head, if you instead choose to drill out the apical meristem of one of your plants.
If you drill into the growing point in the center of a cacti, that will effectively kill that cacti, but long before it expires it will send out many pups around its perimeter.
Thanks dvg. Never heard of drilling out the growth point. I have decapitated some Rebutia and Sulcorebutia plants. The stump gets about 8 pups and you also get to root the head.
Do you see the orange/yellow spots on some of the plants? I am wondering if it is a growth. I just noticed it when I took the photo. Also, these plants have not been in full sun yet this year. I've been keeping them indoors in a western window. They will turn reddish purple in the sun. These plants are also a little over-watered as I noticed one of the plants was on the verge of cracking. I need to let them dry out more.
I can see some new growth coming up in the crowns of your plants.
It looks like they might be sending up flowers.
Just before I took this photo I removed the latest batch of seed capsules, so most of the plants look a little raw in the crowns of the plants. I wait till they fall off, but before they split and spill the seeds. There is one plant that has an immature capsule still on it. It is the one to the right of the dried grass in the top photo, right next to the edge of the pot.
The seedlings in this pot don't get any special treatment. They get watered only when the adults get watered, and fed the same as well. No pampering and they still grow. Tough plants.
Here is one of the plants in the planter when it was 6 years old, and before it was moved over into the planter. Notice how the plant is shrunken and buried in the pot. You can also see some mouse damage to the plant. I am thinking this photo was taken during its winter rest or just prior to coming out of rest. I have not let the plants rest since planting them in the planter. I've kept them watered in the winter and they have done well.
I just counted the seeds I currently have via weighing and came up with about 1,825 (1.98 gm). 50 seeds equals 0.054 gram. There should easily be 80% germination if not more.
I would love to have some seeds!