Copyright © 2007 -
At the end of the week, it was announced that the President had fled the country and the revolution was over. The roads were open. In the remaining week, we drove south to Camargo and Culpina, away from most Sulcorebutia habitats, although there were many more beautiful cacti to be seen including the related genera, Weingatria and Cintia.
We reached Cuchu Ingenio about 1 pm. The town is at a cross roads on the main north-
Just north of Vilamani (BB1197 at 3550 m), we stopped for a short break and on walking
up a dry gully carved out by rain run-
Climbing out of the plain past Alto Lecori, we reached a level stony area where many globular plants were evident (BB1198, 3465m). This had recently had heavy rain, but now only a little was still falling. The most abundant plant here was Weingartia lecoriensis – many of which were in flower – growing in what appeared to be gravel. Most of the plants were solitary, but a few had two or three heads. Individual heads were up to about 12 cm in diameter.
Just after Padcoyo (BB 563, 3250m), we left the car to walk to the saddle between two hills where Brian knew that Cintia knizei grew. On the way, we passed lots of small W. lecoriensis and C. rossiana. The Cintias were hard to find in the stony ground, as most were only 0.5 cm across with the largest being 1 cm. At best, only a few spineless tubercles poked up from the compacted gravel surface, and it was necessary to get down on hands and knees to find them. It is obviously difficult for the plants to produce their distinctive tap roots in this substrate, and they are apparently often distorted by the pressure. It was still very dark and overcast.
We spent the night in Camargo, then next day,as we climbed out of San Pedro, zig-
We encountered many more beautiful cacti – Rebutias, Lobivias, Parodias, Oreocerei, Cleistocacti – many in full flower, but we did not encounter Sulcorebutias again until near the end of our journey. After leaving Sucre for the last time, towards Ravelo in heavy cloud, which closed in on us as we climbed the mountain pass. When we crossed over into the next valley, the clouds lifted slowly giving us bright sunshine until the late afternoon. Our first stop at the top of the next pass was in a rocky area among red sandstone rocks (BB 1203, 3300 m), where we again found what appeared to be S. losenickyana, but not in flower.
At the next stop (BB 1204, 3650 m), we again found a Sulcorebutia sp., probably S. losenickyana again. Most plants had dark red flowers, but at least one had a magenta flower. Most plants were only 1 cm in diameter, though we did find two growing in moss in a shear rock face that were somewhat wider (about 3 cm).
Weingartia westii (in cultivation)
Weingartia westii BB 1184
Weingartia lecoriensis BB 1197
Weingartia lecoriensis BB 1198
Cintia Knizei BB 563
Cintia Knizei (in cultivation)
Weingartia cintiensis BB 062
S. vasqueziana v. losenickyana (in cultivation)
S. vasqueziana v. losenickyana BB 1203
Bill Christie taking photographs of his discoveries
S. sp. BB 1204 (vasqueziana v. losenickyana ?)
in the gathering gloom in the late afternoon, we reached the Quebrada Honda (BB 339, 3110m) where we again found W. lecoriensis
Continuing towards Culpina, we drove up a side road to a rocky area, which was the type locality for Rebutia leucanthema, (BB 533, 3500m). Again, we found large clumps of Weingartia cintiensis (up to 30 cm across) with long sturdy spines. Only this species was showing its typical small yellow flowers occasionally.
All the photos on this page © Bill Christie