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Origin and Habitat: Mexico, Tamaulipas (Sierra de San Carlos, cañón de Nogales)
Type locality: Tamaulipas: Cerro del Diablo, Sierra de San Carlos.
Altitude range: Around 1200 metres above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: Lenophyllum reflexum grows in the cracks of rocks or under the shadow of big trees among mosses, ferns and orchids, associated with the also endemic Mammillaria schiedeana ssp. giselae and Echeveria runyonii. The habitat of this species is a mixed pine-oak and a small part of humid cloud forest. Due to its isolation it is not endangered taxon and, as it also happens in nature, it is easily propagated by leaf cuttings in cultivation.
- Lenophyllum reflexum S.S. White
Description: Lenophyllum reflexum is an hairless, succulent, perennial herb 15-30 cm tall with attractive herbage, at first bright green, becoming suffused with dark purple, especially backs of leaves. The inflorescence is long lasting with clusters of small greenish yellow flower, but not particularly attractive and make ugly the shape of the plant. The problem is that, as the inflorescence lengthen, the leaves becomes more distanced, smaller towards the top and weakly attached to the stem. This offer a lot of material for an easy propagation by leaf cuttings.
Derivation of specific name: Latin 'reflexus', reflexed, for the reflexed leaves (directed backwards).
Stems: 1.5-3 dm tall, ca. 3-4 mm thick, branching near base, herbaceous, with 4- 5 leaf pairs crowded in lower 1-2 cm, the next internodes 1 -2 cm long and the next, still beneath inflorescence, longer, to 6-8 cm.
Leaves: Caducous, in basal rosettes and cauline, (gradually smaller distally), proximal opposite, distal alternate, (sometimes crowded at base), sessile, not united basally, bright green becoming purplish to almost black in some periods of the year, broadly ovate to elliptic, mostly slightly reflexed, sharply acute at the apex, about 1 mm long, to 4.5 cm long and 3 cm wide, flat or somewhat concave above and not at all channelled.
Inflorescences (thyrses): Terminal, 5-6 cm high ( in cultivation more than 20 cm long), and 2-4 cm wide with 6-10(-15) simple or bifurcate branches (cincinni) ca. 2 cm long each with 2-8 flowers that mature and bloom at different times. The bracts ovate, 3 mm long. The inflorescence is similar to that of Lenophyllum pusillum in shape and size, the main difference is that the developing immature inflorescence is dark purple-black, this because it reflects the colour of the plant.
Flowers: Sessile, erect, 5-merous, small, less than half a centimeter. Sepals distinct, subequal, oblong, acute 4-6 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide. Petals 6 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, erect with outcurved tips, distinct, yellow or yellowish-green with a dark streak in the centre. Stamens 10. Filaments long, united to corolla base. Pistils erect, 5-6 mm long, nearly distinct. Ovary base truncate tapering to subulate styles. Styles 2-2.5 mm long shorter than ovaries. Nectar glands fleshy and truncate.
Blooming season: Summer to Autumn.
Fruits (follicles): Erect not splitting or opening along a circumference. Young follicles slightly gibbous above.
Seeds: Ellipsoid, brown, finely grooved.
Note: Lenophyllum crosses with plants of Echeveria, Graptopetalum, and Pachyphytum.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Moran, Reid V. «Lenophyllum Rose, Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 47: 159, figs. 18, 19, plate 20. 1904.». Flora of North America. eFloras. Vol. 8 Page 150, 224, 226, 227, 228 <http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=117955> Web 19 December 2015.
2) Jorge Meyrán García, Lilián López Chávez “Las Crasuláceas de México” Sociedad Mexicana de Cactología, 2003
3) “Haseltonia: Yearbook of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America”, Editions 1-5, page 9, The Society, 1993
4) Urs Eggli “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Crassulaceae” Springer Science & Business Media, 06 December 2012
5) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names” Springer Science & Business Media, 29 June 2013
6) Moran, R. V. “The genus Lenophyllum (Crassulaceae).” Haseltonia 2: 1-19. 1994.
7) Rose, J. N. “Lenophyllum texanum.” Addisonia 8: 21. 1923.
8) Uhl, C. H. “Intergeneric hybrids of Mexican Crassulaceae. I. Lenophyllum.” Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 65: 271-273. 1993.
9) Uhl, C. H. 1 “Chromosomes and polyploidy in Lenophyllum (Crassulaceae).” Amer. J. Bot. 83: 216-220. 1996.
10) Stephenson, Ray “Sedum: Cultivated Stonecrops.” Timber Press. pp. 71–73. 1994.
11) Villarreal Quintanilla, José Ángel “Flora de Coahuila.” UNAM. p. 82. 2001.
12) Leccinum J. García Morales “The Golden Mammillarias of Tamaulipas, México” in Xerophilia – Vol. 2, No. 2 (5): 11, June 2013
13) White, S. S. 1941. "An undescribed Lenophyllum [L. reflexum] from Mexico." Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 68: 496-497, fig. 1.
Lenophyllum reflexum Photo by: Giuseppe Distefano
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: Lenophyllums are closely related to Echeveria and with similar cultivation requirements. All can be readily rooted from leaf cuttings or seed. It is essential in cultivation to use a very porous soil, with adequate drainage.
Exposition: Bright light is required to prevent "stretching" of Echeverias ("stretching" occurs when a moderately fast growing plant such as an Echeveria or Lenophyllum, is grown in dim light or over-fertilized, which causes overly lush growth that contributes to weak, pallid plants).
Watering: Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch.
Hardiness: Protect from frost.
Propagation: Quite easy from seed or from cuttings, the latter either from individual leaves or from offset rosettes.
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