Scaled image unnamed_27.jpg

Astrophytum seeds, left; Matucana madisoniorum, right   
This is to me a remarkable bit of parallel evolution, or whatever the right term is. Astrophytum is a Texas/Mexico genus. Matucana madisoniorum lives in Peru. Every member of Astrophytum has the helmet-like seed that you see here. Only madisoniorum of the matucanas has the helmet-like seeds that look so much like Astrophytum seeds, including the brown shadings of the surfaces. The hylum area of madisoniorum has a division, which is absent in the Astrophytum seeds I’ve seen. All other seeds of the Matucana genus that I’ve seen are the normal roundish things. (Hunt says one of them has a “shoe-shaped” seed, which might be close to “helmet-like.” He says nothing about madisoniorum seeds.) I wonder what environmental factors in Mexico, not even close to the equator, and Peru, close to the equator, produced the very similar oddly shaped seeds. Based on seeds alone, I would put M. madisoniorum into Astyrophytum. But the flowers say not to do this.   (28/32)   

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