"Exploring and Knowing the Plants of the Rio Grande Area of Texas"
Presented by Matthew B. Johnson
This presentation will focus on Matt's recent nine-day trip from Brownsville to El Paso where he identified cacti, trees, and other plants for some of his photographer friends. His program will include such species as Astrophytum asterias, Acanthocereus tetragonus, Echinocereus chisosensis and Grusonia densispina. Matt is very familiar with this fantasticarea of the country and knows the plants very well.
Matthew has a BS in Agriculture and a MS in Horticulture from the University of Arizona. He is currently a Research Specialist at the University of Arizona. Program Manager and Curator, Desert Legume Program (1989-present). The Desert Legume Program (DELEP) is a joint project of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. DELEP was established in 1988 to develop a comprehensive seed bank of wild species of legumes (Fabaceae) that are native to or adapted to arid and semi-arid regions, to preserve these seeds long-term, to provide seeds and information to individuals and organizations around the world, and to investigate potential uses for these plants. He has made extensive travels to study and photograph plants and plant habitats in southwestern United States and in arid regions of Mexico, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa. International travel has involved visits to 14 countries on six continents.
For those interested in cacti and other plants of the Texas Rio Grande area this will be a very special program you will not want to miss. We are really looking forward to having Matt as our special guest. Be sure to invite a friend and join us for this excellent program.
Turk's Head Barrel/ Texas Barre
The Ferocactus is a popular group of cacti to grow either in pots or as landscape plants. The genus Ferocactus, being derived from Ferus, meaning wild or fierce and cactus referring to the very spiny character of the plants. The genus is distributed widely from southern Mexico, north to the Southwestern US and continuing westward to southern California and into Baja California. This species lends itself well as a landscape cactus for southern Arizona. It is both frost hardy and able to be acclimated to full sun. In the next year or so, your specimen will be large enough to flower. The Turk's Head Barrel will usually flower in July with large yellow flowers, they are diurnal and attract bees as pollinators. In about two months you will find a large ripe fruit containing hundreds of seed suitable for germinating next year. Plants will attain mature size at about 12"-14" wide and about 24" tall and are capable of flower each year. Some individuals will offset with multiple heads capable of also flowering. This species has a very dramatic long central spine which is curved at the end, so be careful when planting not to damage the beautiful long spines. The native range for theTurk's Head Barrel is southern New Mexico, west Texas bordering Mexico south to Brownsville and south into northeastern Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert and Tamaulipan Thorn Scrub.
Enjoy your plants!