Help with Coryphantha ID?

Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

I have three of these native Coryphanthas in my yard. I’d love to know an ID so I can add it to PlantFiles correctly. The USDA database shows these as native to Dona Ana county:
Coryphantha macromeris (nope)
Coryphantha macromeris v. macromeris (nope)
Coryphantha robustispina
Coryphantha robustispina ssp. uncinata

I also have a 2003 NMSU inventory of flora of the White Sands Monument, close to me, that lists Coryphantha scheeri var. vallida.

Earle’s Cacti of the Southwest includes Coryphantha scheeri var. vallida and it looks very much like my plants.

Edward Anderson’s The Cactus Family doesn’t list Coryphantha scheeri v. vallida. He lists Coryphantha robustispina and some varieties, but no photos.

This first plant is growing in full shade under a Creosote bush. It’s about 7” tall and 6” in diameter:

Thumbnail by oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

These buds opened today, peach color when new, opening to pale yellow. They only last one day.

Thumbnail by oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Close up of tubercles and spines.

Thumbnail by oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Here’s an older plant with two offsets, growing in full sun, and blooming today. Main stem is about 7” tall and 5” in diameter.

Thumbnail by oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

The blooms on the full-sun plants always seem a bit darker gold in color than the one that grows in shade:

Thumbnail by oldmudhouse
Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Close up of offset on above plant. Central spines on mature stems are quite straight, but the central spines on young offsets are sometimes curved.

Thank you for any help on ID! :-)
Sheri

Thumbnail by oldmudhouse
Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Coryphantha scheeri was reclassified to be a synonym of C. robustispina subsp. scheeri by Anderson. He dosen't list the 'vallida' variety, but that was meant to be inclusive or overlooked.
In the color plates in 'Cacti of the Southwest" book, page 111, it has a color photo of C. scheeri var robustispina which looks like your photos.
Anderson lists C. scheeri var. robustispina as a synonym of C. robustispina subsp. robustispina (which is endagered). pg 196.

Andersons description for C. robustispina subsp. uncinata says..."has strongly curved or hooked spines, occurs in AZ, NM west TX and Chihuahua"
The description for C. robustispina subsp. robustispina says...."It is typically larger (than the other subspecies), and has a single curved or hooked central spine, it occurs primarily in AZ and is listed as C. scheeri v. robustispina and endagered."
The desription for C. robustispina subsp. scheeri.... "always has straight central spines....."

The one with straight centrals would key out to be C. robustispina subsp. scheeri
The one with curved centrals would key out to be C. robustispina subsp. robustispina
But the fact that it says "always has straight central spines....." for 'scheeri' rules that out.
My conclusion would be C. robustispina subsp. robustispina of which C. scheeri var. robustispina is a synonym of.......also because it is the larger of the three subspecies in question.

Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Thank you Xenomorf. It's great to have your help with the reclassifications and synonyms of this plant, I was having a tough time following it.

In keeping with your conclusion, I found this article this morning about Coryphantha robustispina. It mentions that the central spines are "strongly curved and/or hooked in some immature plants and young adults of western populations."
and..."Western populations, especially C. robustispina in the strict sense, are the most robust in the species, and central spines of their immature plants are always hooked. Rarely, the spines are hooked at all ages."
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242415320

I guess I initially steered away from var. robustispina because Anderson says it occurs primarily in Arizona. Also I felt like the odds were against me to have endangered plants existing in my yard (my luck usually runs more towards common weeds.)

He does say ssp. scheeri occurs in New Mexico, but you're right, he also says it "always has straight central spines." I kind of wish he had written one more sentence to deal with immature plants specifically (!) but I think that is just my old tendency to be a horrible detail-craving fussbudget who is never satisfied. ;-)

As always I appreciate your help, and I'm really tickled to have the ID.
Sheri

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

That's a great article.
Knowing that it's listed as endagered, it would really be good to harvest all the seeds and donate or sell them to a seed vendor, like the CSSA (Cactus And Succulent Society of America), or a botanical garden.
I'm not saying that this is the reason for this endangerment but, sometimes a plant becomes endangered because of urban developement into thier native habitat, which might expalin my they are still in your property. Whenever there is developement here, "some" of the developers, the enviromentaly consciencious ones, leave the native cacti in place or move them temporarily and then replant them on the properties they build. You may have a rescue organization like the CSSA in your area that recycles the rescued cacti before the developers start building. Tucson is fairly close to you, they have an affiliate of CSSA, known as the TCSS (Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society). I've gone on rescues with them before, as well as the Phoenix division (CACSS).
http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=435&Itemid=292

This message was edited Jun 18, 2007 11:41 AM

Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

With the help of other Dave's Garden members I've been working on researching that question, and we've determined there is no CSSA affliliate group here. I have not been able to locate a local group that does cactus rescues in the Las Cruces area. (There is a group that does rescues in El Paso.) My area of NM seems to be light years behind states like Arizona, with organizations like the TCSS and CACSS (I've read about them and I greatly admire their efforts.) So far I have not found any evidence that local developers would even consider leaving or relocating native cacti, but I'm still trying to see how that works around here.

I recently joined the local chapter of the New Mexico Native Plant Society, and I'm hoping I'll learn more working with that group. If I lived close to a group that did regular rescues like the Arizona groups, I'd be there, shovel in hand.

I had two dried fruit on one plant (last season's) but none on the others. Since the two plants in this thread bloomed on the same day, I tried to hand pollinate between the two using a small artist's brush. I've never done that before so we'll see what happens. These plants don't make it easy...the blooms open late in the morning and close by late afternoon.

I may contact the botanist for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management for his thoughts on seeds. Thanks again for the good info!
Sheri

Alamogordo, NM(Zone 7b)

Sheri, I have been a member of the NM Native Plant Society for years and they do relocate plants if and when they can. Our group here in Otero co. went to Carlsbad twice and removed plants from the highway expansion that will happen there between Carlsbad and El Paso. I wasn't able to go, but understand they got a lot of plants out of there-including some cactus. They donated some to Oliver Lee State Park just outside of Alamogordo and sold some in our plant sale. It would be great if there was more of this done routinely, not just by volunteers.

That cactus is beautiful. I don't recall ever seeing one in any of my hikes here in the Basin. Joyce

Scott Bar, CA(Zone 6a)

Great plants, Sheri. How many species do you have growing wild in your yard? You just seem to keep coming up with more! I think I'm somewhat jealous. :o)

Bill

Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Joyce, I'm really glad to hear your group is active in that area! I am hoping the LC group does some rescue work as well. I'd love to see some of the plants here find new homes instead of being bulldozed. The city just approved the annexation of another 6000 acres and that's a lot of desert.

These little plants are pretty when they bloom, but I find them easy to overlook most of the year. Yesterday I also found one in my neighbors yard under a prickly pear I'd never seen before...and I only saw it because of the blooms.

Thank you Bill. Actually not many surprises left here, and your yard is much prettier than my scraggly brown one! I think the ones original to the yard are 3 native Opuntias, 2 Cylindropuntias, Echinocereus coccineus and this Coryphantha. Of course that just means I need to keep adding more varieties. I missed the plant sale this year that Joyce mentioned, I'll be there with bells on next year. ;-)
Sheri

Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Update…because of the endangered species question, I contacted our local botanist for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management. He feels it’s quite unlikely this one is Coryphantha robustispina ssp. robustispina because that species is restricted to the Tucson area, and because the adult ssp. robustispina have curved central spines.

He’s familiar with this plant as our local Coryphantha robustispina ssp. uncinata, and agrees the curved spine issue is confusing. He says Benson’s 1982 "Cacti and Succulents of the US and Canada" recognized two species of Coryphantha scheerivar. valida and var. uncinata. Valida has straight centrals and uncinata has curved centrals. However, he says current thinking of taxonomists is to lump these two varieties together under ssp. uncinata, and apparently that’s the currently accepted ID for the plant that occurs in this area.

Xenomorf, he also sent me a pdf for an extensive report on Coryphantha robustispina that has some great information on the locations for each subspecies, and much more detail than I’m able to absorb. (Probably light reading for you, but tough sledding for me.) I’ll d-mail to see if you’d like me to send it to you.

So, perhaps no endangered species here after all, but I’m very happy to have learned so much. Now I have to go take a nap. ;-)
Sheri

Fischer, TX(Zone 8b)

R.F. Dicht monographed this genus and can be e-mailed at: [email protected] I have corresponded with him about some of my collections; I think you will find him to be very responsive and knowledgable. He also has a very informative website at: http://mypage.bluewin.ch/retodicht/index.htm.

Good luck, and good pictures!

Fischer, TX(Zone 8b)

I see that the hyperlink doesn't work. Try this: mypage.bluewin.ch/retodicht/index.htm; don't put "www" in front of it, just http: and that should work.

Las Cruces, NM(Zone 8a)

Hello Clathrus, and thank you for the link to the excellent website and referral! Lots of good information on the website, including the comments about how many Coryphanthas do change as they age...which is one of the many things that had me going in circles.

These Corys in my yard have bloomed several times since this thread. The blooms don't last long, but at least they come into bloom repeatedly! I really enjoy them.

I see you're new to Dave's Garden, welcome! :-)
Sheri

Kolkata, India

The genre Coryphantha includes a number of cacti with globular form, which becomes columnar with the increasing of the plant age . The stem has not ribs, but rather a series of tubercles alternating or arranged in a spiral. Its very helpful for health if you boil and then make paste of it. Karate sensei mostly use it for their boosting stamina.
check more here
https://www.indiakarateacademy.com/

Quote from oldmudhouse :
I have three of these native Coryphanthas in my yard. I’d love to know an ID so I can add it to PlantFiles correctly. The USDA database shows these as native to Dona Ana county:
Coryphantha macromeris (nope)
Coryphantha macromeris v. macromeris (nope)
Coryphantha robustispina
Coryphantha robustispina ssp. uncinata

I also have a 2003 NMSU inventory of flora of the White Sands Monument, close to me, that lists Coryphantha scheeri var. vallida.

Earle’s Cacti of the Southwest includes Coryphantha scheeri var. vallida and it looks very much like my plants.

Edward Anderson’s The Cactus Family doesn’t list Coryphantha scheeri v. vallida. He lists Coryphantha robustispina and some varieties, but no photos.

This first plant is growing in full shade under a Creosote bush. It’s about 7” tall and 6” in diameter:




This message was edited Oct 19, 2020 2:13 AM

This message was edited Oct 19, 2020 2:13 AM

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