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Accepted Scientific Name: Pachyphytum hookeri (Salm-Dyck) A.Berger
Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2 [Engler & Prantl] 18a: 483 1930 Engl. & Prantl
Origin and Habitat: Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, Jalisco
Altitude: 2,000-2,500 metres above sea level.
Habitat: Pachyphytum hookeri is locally common in shaded crevices on N-facing cliffs Cliffs and volcanic rock-faces. The populations are isolated from one another and more or less distinctive, with differences, for example, in size and glaucousness of leaves, height of floral stems, length of pedicels, and size of flowers. Pachyphytum hookeri occurs at the same site as Sedum furfuraceum, flowers at the same time, and has similarly scaly leaves, thick stems and leaves, and axillary inflorescences.
- Pachyphytum hookeri (Salm-Dyck) A.Berger
Pachyphytum hookeri (Salm-Dyck) A.Berger
Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2 [Engler & Prantl] 18a: 483 1930
- Pachyphytum hookeri (Salm-Dyck) A.Berger
- Pachyphytum aduncum (Baker) Rose
- Pachyphytum roseum hort. ex Baker
- Pachyphytum uniflorum Rose
- Echeveria uniflora (Rose) A.Berger
ENGLISH: Hooker's Fat Plant
Description: Pachyphytum hookeri once known as P. aduncum, is common in cultivation; its flowers resemble those of an Echeveria but without the narrowing at the mouth of the corolla, and the leaves, in an open rosette, are thick, cylindrical, glaucous blue and have a bloom or sheen that coats the outer leaf surface giving the plant a dusted in sugar effect. Various forms are in cultivation including one with bright green leaves and a cristate form.
Stems: Short, erect up to about 12-30 cm tall or decumbent to 50 cn or more, 8-17 mm thick, yellowish green or glaucous becoming grey-brow, later with thin greyish bark, leafy for 5-17 cm.
Rosettes: Tight to somewhat irregular, with (10-) 25-40 or more leaves, crowded at stem apex but separated below, slowly, offsetting.
Leaves: Fleshy, more or less subcylindrical to elliptic-fusiform, somewhat angular, inclined to be flatfish on the upper surface 2.5-5 cm long, 6-18 mm wide and 5-11 mm thick near middle, 2-6 mm wide and 2-4 mm thick at base, light olive-green, greyish green to blue-green, sometimes reddish at tips or throughout, covered by the protective silvery bloom often found on plants growing in hot sunshine, drying thick and leathery. Tips stiff and sometimes broadly creamy apiculate, shining like a light on the tips of the bluish leaves. The white coating on the leaves is easily washed off. Leaves detach easily, fall to ground, and root there if environment is right.
Inflorescence: Flowers are borne on curving pedicels off the main flower stem and open gradually over quite a long period of time. Peduncle 5-35 cm tall, 2-5 mm thick pink to red.
Flowers: Fairly small, pinkish or reddish and yellow pointed with sepals that are pink with green tips. Calyx 4-8 mm long, 5-10 mm wide, pink to red, or green tipped; segments erect, triangular-ovate, apiculate, 3-7 mm long, 2-5.5 mm wide, 1-2 mm thick. Corolla pentagonal, campanulate, watermelon red- yellowish towards thebase, pink or yellow within; petals erect, connate imbricate above oblong-oblanceolate, faintly to strongly apiculate. Filaments yellowish white, 3-8 mm long from corolla base. Anthers yellow, oblong. Nectar glands yellowish white. Gynoecium 4-7 mm high, 4-4.5 mm thick, whitish below, greenish or yellowish above, the pistils nearly free, the styles 1-2 mm long. The flowers point downward on starting to open, but they gradually rise toabout 10-30° above horizontal during anthesis and continue upward to become erect in fruit.
Blooming season: Flowers mostly March to June occasionally throughout year in cultivation. Flowers open at intervals of about. 4-5 days, the upper gradually smaller, as usual. They begin to fade in about 9-14 days but still remain open.
Fruits (Follicles): Erect to widespreading, brown, 5-7 mm long.
Seeds: Obovoid, 0.5 mm long and half as thick, with 8-10 irregular lengthwise ridges brown.
Chromosome number: The species shows five levels of ploidy based on x = 32. (diploid, tetraploid, hexaploid, octoploid and decaploid depending on population)
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Vera Higgins “Succulent Plants Illustrated” Blandford Press, 1949
2) “The Bulletin of the African Succulent Plant Society” Volumes 7-8. African Succulent Plant Society., 1972
3) "Amateur Gardening" - Volume 93 - Pagina 103
4) Robert Theodore Clausen “Variation of Species of Sedum of the Mexican Cordilleran Plateau” Robert T. Clausen, 1981
5) Baker, J. G. “The American species of Cotyledon (Echeveria DC.)”. Refug. Bot. 1: pls. 56-71 [and letterpress without page numbers].1869.
6) Britton, N. L., and J. N. Rose. “New or noteworthy North American Crassulaceae.” Bull. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 3(9): 1-45. 1903.
7) Britton, N. L., and J. N. Rose. “Crassulaceae.” N. Amer. Fl. 22: 7-74.1905.
8) Brown, J. R. “Pachyphytum uniflorum.” Cact. Succ. J. 16: 159-160, fig. 149.1944.
9) Klotzsch, J. “Beschreibung einer neuen mexikanischen Pflanze: Pachyphytum bracteosum.” Allg. Gartenzeit. 9: 9-11.1841.
10) Moran, R. “Pachyphytum brevifolium Rose and P. glutinicaule, a new species from Hidalgo, Mexico.” Cact. Succ. J. 35: 35-41, figs. A-D.1963
11) Salm-Dyck, J. M. F. A. H. I. “Beschreibung einer neuen mexikanischen Pflanze: Diotostemon hookeri.” Allg. Gartenzeit. 22: 265-266.1854
12) Stafleu, F. A., and R. S. Cowan. “Taxonomic literature” 2nd ed., Vol. v., Sal-Ste. Dr. W. Junk b.v., The Hague/Boston.1985.
13) Uhl, C. H., and R. Moran. “The chromosomes of Pachyphytum (Crassulaceae).” Amer. J. Bot. 60: 648-656, figs. 1-31.1973
14) van Keppel, J. C. “Pachyphytum Lk., Kl., et Otto.” Succulenta 1959: 5-8, 20-21, 25-26, 44-45, 51-52, 102-103, 132, 11 figs.1959
15) von Poellnitz, K. “The genus Pachyphytum.” Cactus J. 5: 72-75.1937
16) Moran, R.: “Pachyphytum hookeri (Salm-Dyck) Berger (Crassulaceae)” Cactus & Succulent Journal of America, 1990
Cultivation and Propagation: Easy to grow Pachyphytum hookeri does great in succulent pots with other similar plants like Echeverias. It is fairly hardy, and is a common houseplants. Blooms and leaves brush off easily so care in handling is essential.
Soil: It will require a free draining compost.
Moisture: It needs regular water in summer, but reduce watering during winter month, but fairly drought tolerant elsewhere. If you live in a hot, hot area avoid excessive irrigation during the heat of the summer.
Sun exposure: It love full sun or diffuse sun to grow with a compact habit and develop the proper colour. A good light exposure helps to keep the plants compact and encourage leaf colour and flowering. In mild summer areas this plant can be grown in near full sun in summer too, but if summers are hot some shade during the hottest part of the day is recommended.
Hardiness: During winter protect from freezing.
Uses: This plant is an excellent candidate for raised areas in the dry garden, pockets in rock walls or the container collection.
Maintenance: Like Graptopetalum and Echeveria, Pachyphytum is sensitive to being handled, as skin oil can damage leaves, in particular those with a pearlescent colouration or farina. After growing for several years tend to become untidy, and should be cut very short or restarted from cuttings.
Propagation: Cuttings, seeds. New plants can be also propagated from orphaned leaves.
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