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VIRIDISSIMA Walther, 1959 (engl./ fr.)

Series Nudae

Type : MacDougall B-134, collected San Pedro Mixtepec, Dist. Miahuatlan, Oaxaca, 10'000 t, between and on scattered rocks, in nearly full light or partial shade from scattered oaks, 1951. CAS 409883.

Etymology : for the bright green leaves.

Distribution : Mexico (Oaxaca: San Pedro Mixtepec); 3000 m.

First Description by E. Walther in Cactus and Succulent Journal US 31 : 22. 1959 :

Glabrous subshrub with numerous ascending to spreading branches, to 20 cm tall or more.

Leaves subrosulate, ascending to spreading, obovate to cuneate, shortly mucronate, flat or shallowly concave above, faintly keeled beneath, to 10 cm long and 6 cm broad, biscay-green, in sun tinged indian-red at edges, apex and on lower surface.

Inflorescences 1 or more, arising from below the leaves, erect above, racemose to subspicate in upper portion, subpaniculate in lower part, peduncle stout, 8 – 12 mm thick at base, to spectrum-red in sun, bracts numerous, broadly ovate, mucronate, 35 mm long, ascending to strongly recurved, colour as the leaves, some of the lowermost pedicels with 2 or more flowers, uppermost single-flowered, 4 – 8 mm long, subangular, with 2 – 3 bractelets, these recurved.

Flowers : Sepals subequal, ascending to recurved, linear-lanceolate, aristate-acuminate, scarcely united at base, longest to 20 mm long, faintly keeled beneath, biscay-green, tinged morocco-red at tips in sun, corolla pentagonal, bi-gibbose, to 16 mm long and 10 – 13 mm in diameter, spectrum-red, petals sharply keeled, deeply hollowed within at base, at apex slightly spreading, acuminate, light-orange-yellow inside, carpels clear dull-green-yellow, styles morocco-red, nectaries transversely-reniform, to 2.5 mm wide, apricot-yellow..

Flowering time : April – November.

Cytology : n = ± 43

Note :

1. Echeveria viridissima was collected twice by Thomas MacDougall at two fairly close localities. It has never been widely distributed and seems to be lost to cultivation since a very long time. The photos below do not show E. viridissima as can easily be understood when compared with the sketch of the First Description, the flowers are not bi-gibbose and the sepals are shorter.

2. Of course the flower photo in Pilbeam, The genus Echeveria, Fig. 428, p. 294, is completely wrong, the flowers even lack the pedicels. Whether the plant Fig. 427 is correct cannot be decided because the flower stalk is cut off. 

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

Echeveria viridissima :

Sketch from the protologue, taken from CSJ US 31: 22. 1959.


Photos Emmanuelle Aubé

Photos Mateo Lichtenstein

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