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OLIVACEA  Moran, 1991  (engl./ fr.)

Series Racemosae

Type : Macdougall, collected January 1963, Cerro San Pedro, 1150 m, Tehuantepec, Oaxaca.

Etymology : Lat. olivaceus = olive-brown, for the leaf colour.

Distribution : Mexico (Oaxaca : Tehuantepec)

Description by Reid Moran from a plant received from Tom MacDougall (1963) :


Caudex erect, ca 2 cm high, 10 mm thick.


Rosette flattish, 10 cm wide of 12 leaves.


Rosette leaves crowded, elliptic, obtuse, apiculate, 5 – 6 cm long, 2 – 3 cm wide, 10 – 12 mm wide at the base, 4 mm thick, broadly and shallowly channeled ventrally, near olive green but slightly reddish, the margins acute, the surface and the margins finely low-papillose.


Floral stem erect from the start, 22 cm tall incl. inflorescence, 7 mm thick, light green below, pale green, almost white, above, or slightly pinkish, bare in the lower ca 1 cm with 25 leaves crowded in the next 6 cm to the base of the inflorescence, forming almost a second rosette.


Stem leaves ascending and subventrally attached but curving outward with the tips horizontal or even deflexed, similar to the rosette leaves but short-spurred, the largest ca 6 cm long, 23 mm wide above, 10 mm wide at the base, and 4 mm thick, the upper decreasing rapidly towards the bracts.


Inflorescence a raceme now 15 cm high, with about 40 bracts and potentially as many flowers though a few are missing. Bracts ascending at ca 45° or more, oblong-oblanceolate, acute and apiculate, short-spurred the largest (near middle of inflorescence) to 21 x 7 x 2 mm, slightly convex ventrally, the margins acute. Pedicels ascending at ca 60° above the horizontal, pinkish, 6 – 14 mm long, ca 1.25 mm thick, slightly thicker above, the bracteoles near or below the middle, linear-oblanceolate, acute, to 6 x 1 mm.


Calyx disk ca 6 mm wide, subumbilicate, slightly grooved below the sinuses, the segments ascending or nearly erect but not appressed against the corolla, unequal, the smaller narrowly triangular-ovate, acute, ca 5 x 3 x 1.5 mm, the larger triangular-lanceolate, acute, ca 8 – 9 x 4 x 2 mm. Corolla near watermelon pink, slightly glaucous, 12 mm long, 8 mm wide at the base, 4 mm wide at the apex, pyramidal with the keels nearly straight, the sides shallowly channeled, the segments ca 4 mm wide, connate ca 2 mm.

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


Note :

The photos published on

show an entirely different plant - Mexican botanists apparently ignore the description of this species completely.


Also the photo in Pilbeam, Echeveria, Fig. 249, p. 190, is wrong, this is E. tencho.

Photos Reid Moran, first published in Cactáceas y Suculentas Mexicanas 36(3): 51-55, ills., 1991.
Photos de Reid Moran, d'abord publiées dans Cactáceas y Suculentas Mexicanas 36(3) : 51-55, ill., 1991.

In habitat in Oaxaca :

Photos Gerhard Köhres

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