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  Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society

Thursday May 6, 2010 at 7 pm

"Large Opuntias of the USA: What Are They and Where Are They"

Presented by Joe Shaw


 

This program describes the large Opuntia species of the USA and provides photographic information about the plants, as well as information about where they occur. Information is presented for about 25 species of Opuntia. A 10-minute follow-up talk will be presented that describes Opuntia-animal interactions; mammals, birds and insects.

Joe obtained his B.S. in Botany (UC Santa Barbara) and a doctoral degree in Plant Pathology at (UC Davis). He was an associate professor in the Department of Botany and Microbiology at Auburn University from 1988-1998. Since 1998 he has worked in the biotechnology industry, first mining the mouse genome for druggable genes and now as a medical/scientific writer. For the past few years he has collaborated with David Ferguson (Rio Grande Botanic Garden, Albuquerque, NM) to document the Opuntia species of the USA in a Web site http://opuntiads.com. Joe lives in Germantown, Maryland with his companion and dog.

This will be a special program for everyone to enjoy. Please join us for an excellent topic for all who have wanted to know more about these marvelous cacti. Let's welcome Joe to our Tucson organization by coming out and enjoying the Opuntias.

 



Free Plant Giveaway

Free plant (cuttings From Mark Dimmitt ): Opuntia alta 'Fruit Punch'. Opuntia alta is a hexaploid species that originated as a natural hybrid between O. engelmannii lindheimeri and O. stricta. In 1999 Tom Wiewandt gave Mark Dimmitt a pad of a plant he collected near McAllen, Texas. It was the most colorful prickly pear he saw there, with reddish-purple flowers. Mark Dimmitt grew about 100 seedlings from this plant, and selected this clone as the best of them. 'Fruit Punch' is an extremely vigorous and floriferous cultivar. (The plant in the photo is a five-year-old cutting.) It is covered with large purplish-red flowers in May, and continues to grow new pads and some flowers through the summer. It comes from a wetter, more humid climate, and needs supplemental water in southern Arizona.


Raffle plant (cutting): Opuntia unknown hybrid 'Tucson Ruby': This plant volunteered in the wash on Mark Dimmitt's property. It looks pretty much like a normal O. engelmannii, but it evidently crossed with one of the red-flowered plants in his yard. The flower color varies with the weather from blood red to red-orange to reddish-purple. 'Tucson Ruby' is a normal prickly pear in size, and is desert-adapted (plant it and forget about it). Flowers in May.


May Refreshments

Those with family names beginning with S, T, U, V, W, X, and Y please bring your choice of refreshments to the meeting. Your generous sharing will be greatly appreciated and enjoyed!


Meeting Schedule

Get a map or directions from MapQuest

  TCSS Officers and Board
  TCSS reserves the right to change dates and/or program should it be necessary.