New Cacti National Collections for Plant Heritage

Plant Heritage is delighted to welcome a fantastic new collection of Rebutia, Aylostera and Weingartia to its nation-wide programme of National Plant Collections.
 
The Collections are based in Ellon, Aberdeenshire have been put together by Paul Doyle and are held in two heated greenhouses in his back garden.
 
Paul, a plant and animal ecologist, has had an interest in the plants for over 40 years, and developed his passion from his father, who kept cacti. He started growing a number of plants almost 15 years ago and has now amassed over 2,500 plants.  Not available in UK garden centres, Paul sources his new plants from specialist nurseries in Europe and by exchanging plants with other enthusiasts.
 
The cacti, which are native to the Andes of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, are mostly small and globular in form. They are hugely colourful and freely produce flowers which are large in relation to the body. 

Plants are propagated by stem cuttings to ensure the plants stay true to form. Commenting on the cacti Paul said, “This is such an interesting group of plants because of their rapid evolution. When in their native habitat the populations of each species tend to be very small and isolated.”

The taxonomy of Rebutia, Weingartia & Aylostera has changed several times, and recent DNA research has caused a significant amount of re-organisation.
 
Speaking on the new Collections, Plant Heritage Plant Conservation Officer Mercy Morris said: “It is always good to find people who are willing to take on these taxonomically difficult groups. Paul is clearly very dedicated and will make a superb Collection Holder.”

 

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