King Midas

Parentage : Pachyphytum oviferum x Echeveria pulidonis
Created in 1994 by Max Holmes, Australia

Published in Cactus & Succulent Journal NSW. Vol 24, No. 2. Oct. 2003.




There are comparatively few xPachyveria hybrids in circulation, compared with xGraptoveria and Echeveria hybrids, perhaps due to the small number of Pachyphytum species available and I decided some years ago to try a few crosses to see if I could come up with something distinctive.

The interesting new hybrid I am describing here was produced by me at the end of 1994 by crossing Pachyphytum oviferum (female parent) with Echeveria pulidonis. When I came to write the article I was a little surprised that it has taken me so long to name it, as the plant grows well either in the greenhouse or in the garden where it is reasonably tolerant of hot summer weather. I have no experience of growing it in frosty conditions but quite a few xPachyveria are cold tolerant enough to grow outside in Canberra, and I suspect that this one is too. I wanted to grow it for a few years to make sure it is worth propagating, and I had several clones to choose from. I finally selected the one that grows best, and I am pleased to introduce it now, naming it xPachyveria 'King Midas'.

Most xPachyveria tend to grow a distinct stem in time, with a rosette of leaves at the tip, and they need to be cut up every few years and started again to keep them looking attractive. I am pleased to report that 'King Midas' has proved to be an exception to the rule. It grows to over 10 cm in diameter and remains stemless and compact for several years, and it slowly clusters. The leaves are very succulent, very pruinose grey-green, with the leaf tips purplish-red The colours are most noticeable in the cooler months when the plant is actively growing. Flowers appear in late spring and are pure yellow like those of E. pulidonis but are larger and produced very prolifically in double rows, in many graceful, arching racemes. It is this habit of producing so many bright yellow flowers that suggested the cultivar name - King Midas was a character in Greek mythology who had a great love for gold.

Propagation is easy from leaves, easier in fact than with either of the parents, and plantlets grow without any trouble. I can recommend this attractive plant to all succulent lovers.

Max Holmes


Photos Bernie DeChant

Photos Christophe Camassel

Photos Benoît Henry

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