Tumamoca macdougalii

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

In mid-September I purchased Tumamoca macdougalii. I know if goes dormant for the winter months but I noticed the caudex is shriveled near the soil and wondered if this is okay. Is anyone familiar with this plant?

Thumbnail by NancySLAZ
Carolina, PR(Zone 11)

Never have grown it but it looks like if its dehydrated, if you can get SUPERthrive and mix it with the next watering, I'm sure it will benefit it a great deal and improve the root system a lot.


Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

I know these go dormant for the winter so I don't know if I should use the SUPERthrive now. I have not watered it very much--maybe not enough? I thought if it was going dormant I shouldn't water but maybe it needs at least some? Thanks for the suggestion Wilfred.

Pendleton, OR

I have this plant I give it water every three weeks in the winter. I dont use any superthrive or any thing like that on these plants at any time. try less water then used at its growing time.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

jll--I'm glad you mentioned you water about every three weeks in winter. I didn't even water that often in summer! I was afraid it would rot. I will try to water as you said until spring.

Plumiedelphia, PA(Zone 7a)

bottom heat and bright light will bring it out of dormancy in about 3 weeks time.
You can address the emaciated caudex then.
Super-Thrive and a touch of 10-10-10 very sparing on the food.
You will know when its time because you will see new growth.
It is essential to wait till you see new growth or watering it could lead to rot.
Bottom heat is imperative!
Bright light signals the plant to awaken.
Good luck, I love these and mine won a second place @ the Philadelphia cactus and succulent society.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thank you Malestrom! I will try the bottom heat. The light is bright here in Phoenix! I have it outside with morning sun. I remember somewhere you said you didn't have a camera, right? I'd love to see a picture of the one that won second place!

Dandridge, TN(Zone 6a)

Nancy, how is your plant doing? I love the name- Tumamoca sounds like something edible! LOL

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Well, so far no change from the above photo I took. We have had rain here the last couple of days so it got watered and I moved it back under the patio so it won't drown. I watch it each day to see if anything happens and will definitely post here if and when it does! Thanks for asking!

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Nancy - you might try sending an email with the picture to Miles Anderson at Miles' to Go in Tucson (http://www.miles2go.com/). He sells T. macdougalii and probably knows all the tricks with it. I bought some from him last year and found that in my area it took a long time to come out of dormancy.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the suggestion. That is a good idea. I bought mine from him also. Actually it is looking pretty good now. It was dumped out of the pot when my shelving blew over in the big storm here a couple of weeks ago. I replanted it and it looks happy now, although it hasn't come out of dormancy yet. I thought maybe that will happen as spring approaches but I will contact Miles Anderson.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

You're very welcome. Glad to help.

According to this website (http://www.pima.gov/cmo/sdcp/species/fsheets/vuln/tg.html), T. macdougalii doesn't come out of dormancy in habitat until late summer. So I guess mine was right on time after all. It surprised me - I expected it to do so about April-May.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Oh, I'm glad to know that. I got mine in August from Miles' To Go and it's leaves left in November so I guess that is on schedule. I think it will be fine but I'll check to be sure.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

At the time I ordered my Tumamoca from Miles I found a great article about it. However, when I looked for it again today to give to you I couldn't find it. Darn!

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

I took a picture today of this plant because it has started to grow again! As soon as it got really hot here the little green vine appeared. It is a little blurry because the wind was blowing when I snapped the picture. I'm not complaining about the wind. Yes, it's drying, but it cools the air when we really need it.

Thumbnail by NancySLAZ
SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Good for you! I looked again for the article and couldn't find it, but did come up with some interesting references:


There isn't much info at each reference, but I thought they were worth reading again. At the Garden my Tumamocas (bought from Miles) were up for only about 3-4 months a year. I have one left, and I won't be getting any more because I can't sell them unless they have something above the ground of interest most of the year.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

I read the references you mentioned. It's interesting the it was endangered and then they found it's not! It is in the same family as Cephalopentandra. It's very interesting. I can see you would have a hard time selling it from Nov. to July with nothing but the caudex to look at!

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

If I remember correctly the article I read (and can't find) talked about not being able to determine what the population was for these plants because they were so erratic in their behavior. One year there'd be a lot of them, the next nothing, the next just some, etc. Apparently they wake up only for certain climatic conditions and can stay dormant for ages. Mark Dimmitt also mentioned that even when you know where they are they're hard to see because they grow among shrubs. Doesn't make them very sellable, does it?

The Cucurbitaceae Family has a lot of very weird plants.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Gee, I guess I better consider myself lucky that it sprouted again! Probably in nature there can be years of little rain when the plant requires rain or some other condition isn't there when it needs to be to get the vine going.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Yep. At least you always know where it is, too. LOL!!

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9b)

Well, here's my little plant at the end of summer. It has grown nicely. It will be going dormant pretty soon and those cute little clingy leaves will disappear until spring. I love this plant!

Edited for spelling.

This message was edited Oct 5, 2010 10:07 PM

Thumbnail by NancySLAZ
Yardley, PA

Good luck with your new baby Nancy, I may have to get one of those. Like I need another plant. Always room for one more! You have a nice collection there.

SF Bay Area, CA(Zone 9b)

Good for you, Nancy! It looks like you can provide the conditions I can't, like a LOT of heat. Wish I could do better with these guys - I do like them.

Mountlake Terrace, WA(Zone 8a)

Yep, that's why Adeniums got composted at my house, the summer does not warm up enough for them. And I have no windows to the south! They were just generic HD adeniums, so don't get excited.

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