The story of an ID

wantonamara Z8 CenTexApril 19, 2013

I put this photo up on a thread a little while ago asking for an ID. I had already looked for awhile using Miss Google,, deserttropicals.. I sometimes find this ID process overwhelming. I am not that knowledgeble about many families. I know Opuntias fairly well, not great.

I did get a responce from Microthix stating Copiapoa tenuisissima,which was VERY close ( thank you), but not quite right so I looked through it and its family but something was not quite right with any of them. I had already gone through ID by Habit on I got a lot of "close" but not a zinger. I went back to the different habits and then cross referenced the ones that were close and looked through all of their family. Some how I missed my little guy.

Up comes the thread on the Huntington show from last year and 11 pictures down was one that had a similar habit but it had no small needle clusters protruding from the cotton but VERY close. Rose gave a family name of Eriosyce and I was off and running to the internet to google my life away. I came up with Eriosyce odieri with tiny white needles protruding in a vertically oriented opposing pattern. I think this is a Zinger. Here I did find my little guy. I am 80% sure it is him. Maybe more.

I also found a site of many habitat photos from Chili. I will share this GREAT site. I saw many of my little guy and his brethren in the wild. They flatten out when excessively dry. They become almost invisible in the ground.

I have told my story about my ID.. It might not be over but I think it might. I tell it because I want to share about how I go about my ID's. It is not the most scientific way and I don't really have many good cacti books

I would like to hear about how you go about an ID. Tell me a story of a good ID , the more complicated , the better. The more different avenues of knowledge garnering, the better.

I have come to recognize that I need better WORDS for the parts of the little critters. Describing things as "not quite right" just doesn't cut it. Maybe actually READING a book on them from start to finish would help. (I prefer books with plots)

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Flicker site with Chilean habitats

This post was edited by wantonamara on Sun, Apr 21, 13 at 23:24

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hijole(9 Sunny California)

I usually wait for Rosemarie or cactusmcharris to come to the rescue 0r one of the other more knowledgeable members answer my tough Q.
Hey I just collect them I don't try to know all there names, I think they call that "0verLoad" lol...

Microtrix is pretty Savy though I'll give him that, he straighten me out a few times when I thought I had one type of cacti and he very nicely mention by saying, umm... I think It's this instead.

Just a collector

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 1:50AM
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rosemariero(Z9 SW SUNDiegoCA)

I love to hear a good plant ID story...playing detective! Can't think of particular stories to tell right now...although they can be long & exhaustive. But...I have to get out & pull/cut high weeds/grass before the stickers make it into all our dogs' fur/paws...while it's COOL out! (Back, if/when I'm able!)

May have more thoughts on your lil mystery. :P

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 11:29AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

It appears that my story of the ID is not over. I have learned a lesson here of not doing all of do diligence( or is it DUE diligence). Pictures of cactus on are not always as descriptive of the species as needed and it is important to cross reference them on Ms. Google. Now I am back sliding and Copiapoa tenuissima is looking better again . I might have said "not right" too soon. So now my mind is at a 50/50 split of indecision between the copiapoa and the eriosyce. Thank god I am comfortable at living with confusion.

I found this Utube of Cactus in the Atacama Desert. Enjoy. I love the cross referencing. It is definitely a forever case of suspended serendipity. Gotta watch out or no work will get done. I need to glue up a 300 year old table today or I will have a irate customer.

My story continues but why I started this thread was to find out the "HOW" that others go about this process. I am not a scientific or even a very exacting person. I do enjoy scratching my head. I have comer up with this process purely by exploration and chance. Maybe I enjoy floundering in public. LOL.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beauty of Chilean Cacti

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 1:02PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Now I am confused. My little baby is getting ready to bloom and it appears that it makes flower buds like a rebutia family cactus, Little buds along the sides. The Eriosyce and the copiapoa family have their buds coming out of the top center growth point and they bloom still fairly close to the center. That is what I see online.

My rebutia albipilosa is just starting to make gobs of buds just like this along its lower side. Both of these are new to me.. There is a rebutia that could fill the bill and looks like this unknown mtstery. . R. arenacea or R. krainziana ( I am leaning towards the last one).This also maintains a "dimple" in the center without solid cotton cotton. The white dots of fuz stays small and an elogated shape. the "tits" are smaller and more refined than the C. tenunisima and the Eriocyse.

So now I am confused.If anyone can put me out of my misery,....please. Maybe the flowers will settle this once and for all.

This post was edited by wantonamara on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 1:22

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:47AM
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If it's an aranacea, it's a Sulcorebutia aranacea (which it very well could be), Mara. And if it's S. a., you should collect all forms of S. rauschii, too, 'cause they're equally floriferous.

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 16:28

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:45PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Here I am pulling my hair out and Hijole is right. All I have to do is to patiently wait for you to chime in. LOL. Actually , I ran into that family after further googling. I was a bit confused (what's new) because it appeared as if some used the 2 families as synonyms. They are very similar. I was going to come back in and add that to the list of possibilities. In the sight they only have one Sulcorebutia but when I googled, many more came up and that is when I saw the S. arencea and it is staring to look like a zinger. I will wait for the flower and then revisit it and see where this cactus stands.

You're right, these two families are floriferous. My R. albapilosa has 37 buds on it and it is still making buds! The one above has 20 buds on it. I am looking forward to both of them. Like I said, I am new to this corner of cactushood. I am an Opuntia girl. It might as well be my middle name.

I am still amazed that I have spent SO much time scratching my head over this little thing. I think the ID that iot came with was wrong anyway.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:44PM
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