Echeveria
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EXCELSA  (Diels) Berger, 1930  (engl./ fr.)

Synonym : Cotyledon excelsa  Diels (1906)

Series Racemosae

Type : Weberbauer 3149, collected 1903.

Etymology : Latin adjective excelsus means tall, high - here referring to the tall inflorescence.

Distribution : Peru (Dept. Ancash); 2500 - 3700 m.

 

First Description as Cotyledon excelsa by Diels in Engler Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 37: 412, 1906 in GermanEnglish translation by E. Walther (in Echeveria, p. 338, 1972):

Stem (very short) thick at base, 3 – 5 cm in diameter.

Leaves subrosulately crowded, oblong-obovate to oblanceolate, markedly narrowed at base, acute, 12 – 15 cm long, 3.5 – 4 cm broad.

Scape very tall, about 100 - 120 cm tall, sparingly furnished with bracts that are appressed, remote and gradually becoming smaller; spike narrowly cylindric, with lowest flowers remote (short pedicellate); upper bracts 15 mm long, 3 mm broad, oblong-lanceolate, folded upwards; pedicels exceedingly short, only lowest to over 1 mm long.

Flowers : Sepals ovate, 7 mm long, about 3 mm broad, petals 16 – 20 mm long, 5 – 7 mm broad, lanceolate, implicate, acute, scarlet (with paler spreading) tips.

 

 

Description by Pino, Haseltonia 12, 2006 :

A succulent glabrous herb with usually a single (-3) rosette.

Roots  tuberous, 0.2 - 0.6 cm thick, light  grey to white.

Stem (0.7-) 1.7 – 3 cm thick, (5-) 18 - 20 cm long, rarely branched, erect or slightly decumbent.

Rosette (11-) 14 - 22 cm diameter.

Leaves 15 – 24, sessile, succulent, horizontally flat, obovate, (6-) 9 – 13 (-15) cm long, 3 – 4.5 cm wide 2 cm from apex, 3.5 - 5 (-6) cm wide at middle, (1.3-) 1.7 - 2.5 cm wide at base, 5 – 7 mm thick, acute, with a minute triangular mucro 0.5 - 1 mm long, 1 - 2 mm wide, sometimes recurved, upper side flat to slightly concave, green, lower side convex, light green, keeled with a reddish blush, margins smooth but faceted near apex when young.

Flowering stem a simple spike, rarely 2, erect, 40 – 75 (-120) cm long, 0.8 - 1.1 mm diam. at base, 4 - 6 mm diam. at apex, light green near base, reddish towards apex or becoming paler just at the tip. Peduncular bracts 12 - 19, present only in the proximal two thirds, oblong-lanceolate, 3.5 – 5 cm long,  1.7 - 2.2 (-2.5) cm wide, 5 - 6 mm thick, bright green. Flowers 22 - 26, appearing from March to May, only in the distal third, 2 - 2.1 cm long and 0.9 - 1.2 cm diam., bright red, with one lanceolate bracteole spurred or trilobed at base, 0.6 - 0.8 mm long and 3 - 3.5 mm wide, green. Pedicels absent or very short.

Flowers : Calyx lobes united at base, erect, sepals lanceolate, acute 4 - 5 (-7) mm long, 3 - 3.5 mm wide, bright green. Corolla  ovoid, pentagonal, 9 - 10 mm thick near base, petals ovate-oblong, acuminate, 1.3 – 2 cm long, 4 – 7 mm wide, outer surface red or yellowish, keeled, apex uncinate, recurving outwards, inner surface light yellow.....

Note :

1.  Already Walther stated that  E. excelsa "is closely approached [...] by E. cuencaensis" (Echeveria, p. 338, 1972) ; Pino suggests that the latter may even be conspecific with the former.

2. The photos in Pilbeam, The Genus Echeveria, Fig. 125 & 126, are clearly not correct for E. excelsa, they show E. deltoidea (Pino, The echeverias of the Chillón Valley, Lima, Peru, CSJ US 90(3): 169.2018).

Link to a summary of Pino's description in French.




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