Sulco-Passion

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August 11, 2010
I have been in touch with Marja through Johan Pot. He had sung the beauty of her collection so much that I was greatly curious to visit her.
Marja started to collect cacti 25 years ago. In 1988 she decided to specialize in Sulcorebutia. Today, her collection is made of  about 2000 plants. She has been on the field several times : she has made three trips to Bolivia including two with Johan Pot. So we can say that she knows those plants !
However, Marja has still some other genera : Lobivia, Rebutia, Aylostera, Digitorebutia ... All these plants spend the summer in some kind of elevated cold frame (see photo on the right). The system has been very well thought out : the front and roof of the frame are removable. Plants can be completely outdoors when the weather permits, but can be protected when it is too fresh or rainy. In the winter all those plants go back into the large greenhouse with the sulcos.

Rebutia spinossissima

Rebutia heliosa WR 314

Digitorebutia einsteinii
WR 578/11

Rebutia pygmea v. haagei

Digitorebutia torquata
RH 324

Rebutia steinmanni
MB 18/3

Marja is busy with her plants in the frame

The sulcorebutias are in a large conventional greenhouse though it is a bit original ! Indeed, there is a small pond in the garden and it seems that the greenhouse has been built according to this pond.
The collection is simply beautiful. I could see there huge plants that are certainly as old as Marja’s passion for the sulcos. Just like in all collections, the least cm2 is occupied. Still, everything seems perfectly ordered and each plant is easily accessible.

S. arenacea ssp. arenacea
v. menesesii

S. arenacea

S. cuprea WR 476

S. steinbachii ssp. krugerae
v. hoffmannii KK 1213

S. steinbachii ssp. krugerae
v. hoffmannii  HS 90

S. sp. Oruro-Chapallata
KK cl. 2

S. steinbachii ssp. krugerae
v. krugerae HS 130

S. steinbachii ssp. steinbachii
v. steinbachii JD 136

S. mentosa ssp. mentosa
v. albissima HS 119

S. mentosa ssp. mentosa
v. albissima HS 106

S. mentosa ssp. mentosa
v. swobodae

S. tiraquensis ssp. totorensis
v. totorensis HS 151

S. tiraquensis ssp. totorensis
v. totorensis JK 153

S. pulchra

S. steinbachii ssp. verticillacantha v. taratensis HS 105

S. rauschii WR 289

S. steinbachii ssp. krugerae
v. krugerae JD 134/4

S. mentosa ssp. mentosa
v. swobodae HS 27


S. steinbachii ssp. verticillacantha v. taratensis

S. steinbachii ssp. krugerae
v. hoffmannii  G 195/6

S. crispata HR 27

S. frankiana JK 178

S. tarabucoensis
v. callecallensis L 389/3

S. purpurea ssp. santiaginiensis
v. santiaginiensis JD 181

S. langerii Kö

S. frankiana FK 86/1

S. purpurea ssp. purpurea
v. purpurea JK 324

S. vasqueziana v. losenickyana VZ 90/3

My impressions
Because I cannot speak Dutch, we have discussed in English, a language that Marja speaks very well (although she says she does not.) Marja is a very nice person who is very familiar with its plants and can speak about them at length. She has really extraordinary treasures : I had never seen a pot of 20 cm in diameter full up with a taratensis or a langerii !
Marja had recently repotted a good part of her collection, so I have received lots of cuttings and offsets. I guess that I should not be the only one to benefit from her largesse !
A collection that I recommend to all Sulcorebutia enthusiasts.

If you want to know a little bit more about Marja and her wonderful collection, I invite you to watch a short video. This is a documentary made by Mr. Fokko van der Straaten  for the Dordrecht local television  entitled « Visiting Marja van der Pieterman ». It is Dutch spoken (you can hear Marja speaking). If you speak Dutch like me, you can still watch the film and enjoy the images.

Marja Van der Pieterman - 2010

If you want to contact Marja : please contact SulcoPassion

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