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AUSTRALIS  Rose, 1903

Series Nudae

Lectotype : Pittier s.n., Rose 523, Prov. San José, Costa Rica (US 397557).

Etymology : Latin adjective australis = southern - for the relatively southern distribution in relation to the bulk of the genus.

Distribution : Costa Rica (Prov. San José & Cartago); Panama (Prov. Chiriqui); Honduras (Dept. Francisco Morazán); mostly epiphytic.


First Description by Rose, in Britton & Rose, Bulletin of the New York Botanical Garden 3(9): 6-7.1903 :


 Caulescent, 20 - 30 cm long, or 50 - 60 cm including the inflorescence, glaucous.


Leaves broadly spatulate, rounded at apex, 3 - 7 cm long, sometimes 3 cm broad and spoon-shaped, somewhat glaucous and often purplish, thickly set at apex of branches, early falling off below.


Flowering branches stout, bearing numerous large oblong bract-like leaves, inflorescence an elongated equilateral raceme or somtimes more compound, forming a narrow panicle, pedicels 1 cm long or less, slender.


Flowers : Buds strongly 5-angled, acute, sepals unequal, the longer ones 12 mm long, ovate-oblong, purplish, glaucous, nearly or quite free to the base, petals bright red, thickish, a little longer than the longest sepals, nearly distinct, cup-shaped at base, stamens 10, the 5 opposite the sepals borne on petals about one forth the distance above the base.

Cytology : n = 28

Note :

1. Walther, Echeveria, p. 297, 1972, states that the type locality of E. australis is Volcan Irazu, San José, Costa Rica.

This is wrong. The plants used for the First Description according to Rose were collected in the vicinity of San José, inhabiting rocks and stone walls, not on the Volcan Irazu which moreover - at least on today's maps - is situated in the province of Cartago, not in the province of San José. 


2. Walther's re-description of E. australis (Echeveria, 297-299, 1972) is made "from locally cultivated material" - that means of plants with unknown origin. Therefore it is useless and this applies also to Kimnach's summary in the Crassulaceae volume of the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants, 106, 2003. 

Photos Emmanuelle Aubé

Photo Rudolf Zacher

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