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BIFIDA  Schlechtendal, 1839   (engl./ fr.)

Synonyms :

Echeveria teretifolia  Kunze (1843) ex Poellnitz (1936) non DC (1828)

Cotyledon bifida  (Schlechtendal) Hemsley (1880)

Echeveria bifurcata  Rose (1909)

Echeveria erubescens  Walther (1972)

Echeveria tenuifolia  Walther (1972)


Series Angulatae

Type : Ehrenberg 546, collected between Regla and San Bartolo, Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1835.

Etymology : Referring to the often branched inflorescences.

Distribution : "The plant grows in the drier mountains and canyons west of the summits of the Sierra Madre Oriental, from southwestern Tamaulipas southwestward across central San Luis Potosí to Guanajuato and south to the Barranca de Metztitlan in eastern Hidalgo" (C.H. Uhl, Haseltonia 6, 1998).


First Description by Schlechtendal in Linnaea 13: 411. 1839 :

Echeveria bifida n. sp. glabra glaucescens, foliis rosulatis rhombeo-lanceolatis mucronatis, caulinis subteretibus, racemis geminis secundis.


Description by Walther in Echeveria, p. 245-247, 1972 :

Stem usually short, mostly simple.

Leaves about 15, laxly rosulate, rather turgid, rhomboid-oblanceolate, subpetiolate, mucronate when young, 4 - 12 cm long, 10 - 25 mm broad, rounded beneath, slightly concave, fawn, tinged vinaceous, somewhat glaucous when young.

Inflorescences 1 - 3, usually 2-branched, rarely simple or 3-branched, but in good soil paniculatedly many-branched, peduncle erect, 30 - 60 cm tall, bracts numerous, ascending to erect, narrowly oblong-oblanceolate, compressed-subterete, obtusish, to 3 cm long or more, yellowish-olive, racemes with 10 - 14 flowers each, pedicels evident, 2 - 4 or even 8 mm long.

Flowers : Sepals unequal, longest to 10 mm long, turgid, terete, deltoid-oblanceolate, obtusish, spreading to reflexed, coloured as the bracts, corolla conoid-urceolate, 12 mm long, 9 - 10 mm in diameter at base, 4 mm wide at mouth, flesh-pink at base to light salmon-orange above,  petals bluntly keeled, with conspicuous basal hollow inside, much connate below, pinkish inside at base, apricot-yellow above, at the apex tipped indian-red.

Cytology : n = 12

Link to a summary of the above description in English and French.

Note :

1. Although Walther (1972) recognized 3 other species distinct from E. bifida, all have the same chromosome number and differ in such minor details as stem length, the concavity of the upper leaf face, number of inflorescence branches and length of the pedicels. They all seem better reduced under E. bifida.

2. The flower photo Fig. 39 in Pilbeam, The genus Echeveria, p. 60, by B. Kemble, is misleading : The flower of E. bifurcata (synonym of E. bifida) is pale yellowish in the lower third – and not whitish – and pinkish to reddish above – not dark red.

Plant in habitat (in Hidaldo) :

Photo Gerhard Köhres

Plants in cultivation - different forms :

E. bifida, Zimapan, HGO and E. bifida, Sta Maria Mexicano,QRO
Photo Emmanuelle Aubé

E. bifida
, Guanajuato :

Photos Rudolf Zacher

Photo Margrit Bischofberger

The colour of the flowers identifies this plant as the former E. bifurcata :

Again the former E. bifurcata :

Photos Mateo Lichtenstein

E. bifida, Xichu :

E. bifida, Zimapan :

Photos provided by Gerhard Köhres

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