Acantholimon

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Very nice!  And true to its name, I have never seen one with capitate heads of bloom, sort of Armeria-like.

Checking IPNI.org I see almost 400 names listed for Acantholimon, assuming even half of them are valid that still makes for a large genus. And so I slump into my botanizing armchair and take it for a slow meander through the wilds of Asia, to find some good links.  

I know that Central Asia and Eurasia are rich in species, only relatively few listed for China, but I found some drawing in Flora of China that are worth a gander (illustrating Acantholimon tianschanicum, diapensioides, borodinii, kokandense, alatavicum):http://www.efloras.org/object_page.aspx?object_id=1769&flora_id=2

I wonder what the "beautiful headed" Acantholimon calocephalum from Pakistan and Afghanistan looks like? Sounds like another capitate headed type.

Search Acantholimon on Marijn van den Brink's fantastic plant photo galleries.  It occurs to me that the value of these plants seems primarily for the impressive spiny hummocks they can create:http://photos.v-d-brink.eu/search/index.mg?searchWords=acantholimon&sear...

...some selected links from the Marijn van den Brink galleries:Acantholimon sp. Iranhttp://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Asia/Iran-Koppe-Dag-nieuw/145...

Gypsophila aretioides and Acantholimon species growing in each other, has to be seen to be believed:http://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Asia/Iran-Koppe-Dag-nieuw/145...

Acantholimon sp. Iran, Zagros Mountainshttp://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Asia/nieuw-Iran-Central-Weste...

Acantholimon embergeri 2500m, Iran, Elburz mountainshttp://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Asia/Iran-Elburz-mountains/10...http://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Asia/Iran-Elburz-mountains/10...

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

Just looked at this string again: the one that began it (by Hoy) was supposedly a picture of Acantholimon androsaceum: I believe that is incorrect. A. androsaceum (sometimes classed as A. ulicinum) has stemless flowers. This one is clearly stemmed. It could be any one of several dozen species I have grown...I will not venture a guess. But I would not label it androsaceum any longer...

Compare with Nick Turland's fantastic image from his Flickr account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nturland/474222218/

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15
Kelaidis wrote:

Just looked at this string again: the one that began it (by Hoy) was supposedly a picture of Acantholimon androsaceum: I believe that is incorrect. A. androsaceum (sometimes classed as A. ulicinum) has stemless flowers. This one is clearly stemmed. It could be any one of several dozen species I have grown...I will not venture a guess. But I would not label it androsaceum any longer...

Compare with Nick Turland's fantastic image from his Flickr account:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nturland/474222218/

Kelaidis, if you say so I do believe it! But the name I provided is the name I bought it with. However I have no problems changing it - it is the only one I have of the genus ;)

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

I think these pictures are Acantholimon androsaceum.  They are growing in sand bed and scree and seem to be long-lived.  There is usually some winter damage seen on the foliage but it repairs itself by mid-summer.  The flowers are a good pink and are stemless.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14
Spiegel wrote:

I think these pictures are Acantholimon androsaceum.  They are growing in sand bed and scree and seem to be long-lived.  There is usually some winter damage seen on the foliage but it repairs itself by mid-summer.  The flowers are a good pink and are stemless.

Excellent Anne, looks like the real McCoy, a pretty thing isn't it. I grew this many years ago, and as I recall, it looked similar to your plant with nearly stemless flowers, although mine never grew very wide. I like these just for the cushions, even if this one is not the showiest in bloom.

I find it educational to see how plants look in the wild, and there are some good photos of this species on Marijn van den Brink's photo galleries.  What is interesting to see, is how the older leaves are an orangish-brown color, only the central terminal growth retains green leaves. These photos from the Greek Peloponnese look like they were taken in the autumn:http://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Europe/Greece-Southern-Pelopo...

http://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Europe/Greece-Southern-Pelopo...

http://photos.v-d-brink.eu/Flora-and-Fauna/Europe/Greece-Southern-Pelopo...

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Here's an excellent series of photos on Acantholimon androsaceum from the "Visit West Crete" tourist web site:(in the first photo, the brown ball-shaped objects are not flowers ;D)http://www.west-crete.com/flowers/acantholimon_androsaceum.htm

Warning: you might want to use goggles to view the spiny close-up shots.

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Found this photo of an Acantholimon on a wikipedia site, as Acantholimon sp.A beautiful flowering specimen.http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Acantholimon_sp._S.jpg

Mark McDonough Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5 antennaria at aol.com  

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26
McDonough wrote:

Here's an excellent series of photos on Acantholimon androsaceum from the "Visit West Crete" tourist web site:(in the first photo, the brown ball-shaped objects are not flowers ;D)http://www.west-crete.com/flowers/acantholimon_androsaceum.htm

Warning: you might want to use goggles to view the spiny close-up shots.

Great site, Mark.  I see the acantholimon is receiving some fertilization!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

That was an extremely informative site to post, Mark!  It explained something that I had been puzzled over... which is that what I had taken to be tiny "flowers" on one of my plants, were just the calyces.  It seemed to me that there were actually two forms of flowers - e.g. male, female, maybe? - but now I get it! :)  It may be that my young plant didn't really bloom, or that I missed it, and only saw the developing calyces.  Thanks for posting it! (It also explains why the "seeds" look like "flowers"; they are encased in the dried calyces.)

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Spiegel wrote:

I see the acantholimon is receiving some fertilization!

Yes, evidently, some sheep/goat is obliging!

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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