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Current Photo: CA1053
Photographer's Comments: 35mm slide.
Authority: (Lem.) Sch.
Date Added: 2003-04-05
Entered By: Paul Brunelle
Anhalonium kotschoubeyanus Lemaire ex K Schumann 1842, Anhalonium sulcatum 1850, Roseocactus kotschoubeyanus (Lem.) Berg. Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus subsp. albiflorus (Bkbg) Glass 1998.
Petzuna de Venado (Mexican)
Small Rock of Mexico
This slow-growing cactus was named for the Explorer Otto von Kotzebue (Prince Kotschoubey) in 1842. It is native to Mexico’s San Luis Potosi and Queretaro states and it escapes predation by resembling the rocks among which it grows, and from strong sunlight by growing low down, barely above the surface, with a cover of dust and dirt. Surprisingly, it thrives also in loamy soil. During severe drought its napiform (turnip-like) root shrinks and draws the whole plant underground. It is a splendid example of several types of camouflage and xerophytism working together to protect a single species. One of the costs of such a strategy, virtual disappearance in this case, is very slow growth.
One advantage is longer life expectancy. Its juices are used medicinally as a lotion to relieve pain.
This is another plant which, when introduced, sold for "many times its weight in gold" according to Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott, quoted by Edward F. Anderson (2001).