From the Digest

HSCSS ‘Adopts’ Pincushion Cactus, Dudleya

Pediocactus peeblesianus var. peeblesianus
(Navajo pincushion cactus)

(July 2020)

The Henry Shaw Cactus and Succulent Society has donated $2,000 to the Center for Plant Conservation to help preserve two diminutive succulent species. The gift was added to the center’s endowment fund, which supports stewardship of endangered plants.

The club gave $1,000 to support the Navajo pincushion cactus, Pediocactus peeblesianus var. peeblesianus. This small species – averaging 2.5 centimeters in height and 1.5 centimeters in diameter – is found on rolling hills with gravel soils in Navajo County, Arizona. Pediocactus is one of the few genera of cacti strictly found north of Mexico.

Conservation efforts for the short-leaved dudleya, Dudleya brevifolia, also received $1,000 from HSCSS. This tiny, delicate succulent in the Crassulaceae family grows in clusters with a height of less than an inch. Five populations exist in Southern California. The CPC team has collected and banked seeds for this plant.

The two plant species were recently selected by the HSCSS board of directors from a “short list” of endangered succulents provided by Joe Merkelbach, director of conservation. At a 2019 board meeting, the club budgeted up to $5,000 for plant conservation over a five-year period.

Dudleya brevifolia
(Short-leaved dudleya)

“It is through private donations like yours that we are able to do our vital work of saving plants from extinction,” CPC President Joyce Manchinski said in a thank-you note to HSCSS.

Donations to the California-based Center for Plant Conservation at San Diego Zoo Global are used to further research, collection, documentation and knowledge of endangered plants for their importance to the greater natural world.

The center is a network of over 60 institutions that collaboratively work to save the imperiled plants of the United States and Canada. These partners maintain a National Collection of Endangered Plants, collect and manage living seeds and plants, and share research, best practices and expertise. To date, over one-third of North America’s imperiled plants have been secured in the CPC National Collection.