The Cactus Patch
July 2019

A Mystery Solved!
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves

I had an Agave which I could not identify.  I eventually found it in a Grigsby Cactus Gardens 1994 wish book as Agave sp. (FO-76).  Eventually I found this was grown from seed collected by Felipe Otero and was originally distributed as A. titanota.  It is related to this species, but has green rather than gray leaves and has a hard margin on the top back of the leaf.  Later FO-076 was called Agave sp. “Sierra Mixta” or Agave “Filigree” (Filigree Sierra Mixta Agave).  Finally, all this “naming” has been straightened out in the Summer 2019 issue of the Cactus and Succulent Journal.  Greg D. Starr and Tristan J. Davis have published it as a new species Agave oteroi, named after the original collector.  I look forward to seeing it bloom.  The article in the CSJ shows a tall narrow flower stalk rather like Agave lechuguilla which has just bloomed in my garden.  The flowers on this latter species are purple with brown anthers.  It was pollinated by bees and now has numerous seed pods.  My Agave desmettiana has finished blooming and the base is dying.  It has formed bulblets on the bottom flowers and seed pods on the upper ones.  This together with earlier offsets at the base means this species hedges all its bets to insure offspring

On the 6th of June we saw a “New Wrinkles” production in Fresno.  This is amateur theater by elders like us.  This year the theme was “California Dreamin’.”  It was sad to see a donation “In memory of Don LaMont”.  He was a member of the Fresno CSS and had introduced us to New Wrinkles.  His widow, Pat, was dancing in the show, but admits that at our age it is more difficult.  It was a long show and we barely made it to the dinner with the FCSS.   The speaker at the meeting was Keith Taylor who did his usual hacking up and repotting of specimens, this time in the name of “Succulent Bonsai”.

James, Emily and the grandkids arrived on the 8th and on the 9th we had breakfast next door at Anne’s followed by lunch down the street at Lora’s.  We had a large crowd to celebrate the 70th birthday of Lora’s husband Dave (on the 19th) and the 50th birthday of John (on the 29th) as well as our 55th wedding anniversary (on the 19th).  Of course it was a hot day and the AC went out.  We ended up with a wading pool in the back yard.  Luckily Anne has an adult pool and the party went there later.  This was also useful on the 11th when our AC went out.  The ACs have been repaired and J& E et al. went over to the coast on the 12th for the 2nd wedding of one of James’ high school buddies.

Of course we heard Peter Breslin on the 11th and I bought a copy of his book.  Great photos!

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