Scaled image 29.jpg

Echinofossulocactus phyllacanthus MG313     10/21/20
Another member of the genus blooming a second time in 2020. For some reason, this genus is cursed with an amazing number of claimed species. If I remember it right, I've run across a list having more than 50. No one has yet had the interest or the courage to try to straighten it all out. There have been some attempts, not very well done, I think, I'll probably give it a try sometime with the maybe 15 claimed species in my collection. Try as I might, I can't convince myself that this plant is different from the preceding plant, but they have two different names. The elements of determining species are rib count, spine pattern, including spine length, and flower. The only difference I can see is that this plant has slightly wider flower petals than the preceding plant. Is this worth a species? I don't think so. But, there is probably something more about the flower, like an analysis of the structure of the ovary/stigma/style/anther/filament system. (This ties into the sex life of a plant.) I've never been interested enough to get into things at this fundamental level. Maybe in the future? Probably not - I'm 76 years old.   (29/48)   

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