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Accepted Scientific Name: Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus (Backeb.) Glass & R.A.Foster
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 49: 175. 1977
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus (Backeb.) Glass & R.A.Foster
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 49: 175. 1977
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus (Backeb.) Glass & R.A.Foster
- Mammillaria pseudopectinata (Backeb.) H.P.Kelsey & Dayton
- Neolloydia pseudopectinata (Backeb.) E.F.Anderson
- Normanbokea pseudopectinata (Backeb.) Kladiwa & Buxb. in Krainz
- Pediocactus pseudopectinatus (Backeb.) Halda
- Pelecyphora pseudopectinata Backeb.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. aurata hort.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. cristatus hort.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. inermis cristatus hort.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. inermis hort.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus subs. jarmilae Halda & Chvastek, Chvastek
- Pelecyphora pulcherrima Sabatini
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus var. jarmilae (Halda & Chvastek) M.Zachar
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. rubriflorus (A.T.Powell) hort.
- Neolloydia pseudopectinata var. rubriflora A.T.Powell
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. variegatus hort.
Description: Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus is a solitary small geophytic cactus with many small spirally-arranged tubercles tipped with numerous tiny white spines in a comb like formation.
The forma variegata differs from the standard species for its stems with yellow strips or patches. Except for the stems colour it is identical in shape and size to the standard species.
Stem: Globular dull green, 3 cm tall, 4 cm in diameter, barely showing above the ground. Apex with short white hair; spirally-arranged tubercles.
Spines: Numerous white in a comb like formation (pectinated), 1,2 mm long.
Root: Tuberose and usually bigger than the stem itself.
Flowers: One to 5 pinkish white to bright pink with darker magenta or reddish-brown mid-veins.
Blooming season: Blossoms are expected early in spring. Flowers can be expected on Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus seedlings after perhaps two or three years if they are grown well in plant that are only 1,5 cm in diameter, while the flower is 4 cm long.
Fruit: Small tannish-green.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus group
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus (Backeb.) Glass & R.A.Foster: It is a small cactus with many small spirally-arranged tubercles tipped with numerous tiny white spines in a comb like formation.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. aurata hort.: Mutant completely lacking chlorophyll pigment. The result is a completely yellow plant.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. cristatus hort.: This plant is recognizable without problems for the areoles with white pectinated spines. (But it is often confused with the very similar looking Mammillaria pectinifera forma cristata)
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. inermis cristatus hort.: Nice crested form with white line areoles that are almost spineless on a contrasting green body.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. inermis hort.: Almost spineless plant with spherical growth habit. The areoles are linear filled with short white wool. The spines are very short only 0,1-0,5 mm long.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus subs. jarmilae Halda & Chvastek, Chvastek: Plant with rich pink-violet blooms.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. rubriflorus (A.T.Powell) hort.: has bright pink to bright magenta flowers with darker magenta or reddish-brown mid-veins. Distribution: Nuevo Leon and Guanajuato, Mexico.
- Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. variegatus hort.: Variegated with sectors, patches or stripes with two or more different colours, even distinct shades of green.
Notes: Variegation, albinism & schizochromism.
Variegation: A variegated plant has sectors, patches or stripes with two or more different colours, even distinct shades of green. Plants with variegated stems or leaves are often attractive and highly prized. In most species the stems or leaves are normally green, and variegated epidermis is an uncommon mutation, termed a chimera. A chimeral variegation is due to losing the ability to produce chlorophyll in some of the plant’s tissue, so that this tissue is no longer green. Tissues lacking chlorophyll are usually white or pale yellow coloured (due to carotenoid pigments) or red (due to betalain or anthocyanin pigments) contrasting with the normal green tissue. There are several forms of variegation, depending on the tissues that have been affected. The variegation in some forms is unstable. The extent and nature of the variegation can vary, and sometimes the plant will return to the green form. In others it is stable and does not change under normal conditions. Because the variegation is due to the presence of two kinds of plant tissue, propagating the plant must be by a vegetative method of propagation that preserves both types of tissue in relation to each other.
Albinism: Every once in a while a plant exhibits albinism (completely lacking chlorophyll pigment). This means that its tissue is unable to carry out photosynthesis. The result is a completely cream-white plant. This plant will be weaker than a green plant, and albinism is generally a fatal trait (it can't produce its own food and it's not getting it from anything else). Without chlorophyll, the albino plant has no way to manufacture the food needed for survival and growth to maturity. This implies that these plants cannot survive on their own roots and necessitate being grafted on a normal green plant that provides food. Some of these albino plants are indeed very popular, and sought after by collectors.
Schizochromism: The yellow or red appearance of some plants is more precisely caused by another aberration called "schizochromism". Here, though, the specific green pigment (chlorophyll) is missing: every other pigment is present at normal levels. The dominant green colouration is lost, but the plant will still more than likely have normal other pigments that give the yellow overall appearance of stems and the red colouration of spines.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) Nathaniel Lord Britton, Joseph Nelson Rose “Cactaceae: Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family” vol. 4 The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington 1923
3) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
4) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
5) Milan Zachar, Roman Staník, Alexander Lux, Igor Dráb "Rod Turbinicarpus (Gattung Turbinicarpus)" Vydavate?stvo Roman Staník, 1996
6) Davide Donati, Carlo Zanovello "Knowing Understanding and Growing Turbinicarpus-Rapicactus. A trip across the mexican states of Coahuila, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon, Queretaro..." Cactus Trentino Südtirol, 2005
Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus f. variegatus Photo by: Cactus Art
The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More...
Cultivation and Propagation: Cultivation: Variegated cacti are regarded as choice and difficult in cultivation, but despite that many of them are relatively easy to grow. But be aware that they cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to direct sun light (especially during the hottest summer days), so grow them in half-shade or under filtered sun. They are sometime seen as grafted plants, but many grow well on their own roots, too.
On the contrary, the albinos can survive only if grafted on a strong green base.
Use mineral well-permeable substratum with little organic matter (peat, humus). Water sparingly from March till October and keep perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (In general these plants are more tender and cannot endure freezing temperatures ) In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!!
Propagation: Almost usually by seed. Plants are often grafted onto column-shaped cacti.
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