Fouquieriaceae

This tiny Family of one genus and eight species is endemic to Mexico. The plants are extremely xerophytic hard-wooded shrubs with a tendency to enlargement at the base that reaches a climax in the unique 'Cirio' or 'Boojum' of Baja California, F. (Idria) columnaris (21.13). The tall, mostly unbranched trunk looks like a huge inverted turnip, and bears wiry side branches with tiny short-lived leaves that leave a spine when they detach from the woody stalk. F. columnaris has proved long-lived and long-suffering in collec tions, although it is still far from common; it is a "show stopper" at any age or size. It likes ample space for the large roots (bedding out is ideal); growth is very slow in small pots. A winter minimum of 7°C (45°F) is recommended, but I have had plants down to freezing point for short Near right (21 13): Flowers of Fouquieria (Idria) columnaris. the cirio or boojum ol Baja California The darker seed pods ol the previous year have shed their seeds.

Far right (21.14): Some caudicilorm Jatrophas: J. berlandieri (right). J, texensis

(centre), and an unidenlilied species (left)

Bottom right (21 15): Jatropha podagrica. a common shrub of tropical gardens, seen al its best in cultivation as small seedlings

Below (21.16): A treasure lor the lover of miniatures: Ihe scarce Monadenium majus. a species producing an underground caudex

periods without loss. F. fasciculata and F. purpusii are equally commendable.

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