Tuesday 4th December
Breakfast 8:15 followed by a good stroll around town, which was just about as quaint as small Mexican colonial town can get.
Then down to business – we set off north along Hwy125 towards Tehuacán. And what an incredible stretch of road with seemingly a new favourite plant around each bend. We saw Dasylirion serratifolium, Agave kerchovei together at one spot. A few km further, just north of Santiago Miltepec, we saw Agave marmorata, Agave scaposa and Agave potatorum.
Below: Agave marmorata
Below: Agave scaposa
Below: Agave potatorum
Another few km and we stopped to look at Furcraea macdougalii, Agave kerchovei, and Agave potatorum .
Below: Agave kerchovei
Below: Agave potatorum
Further still, road markers told us we were 84 km south of Tehuacán we encountered Furcraea longaeva, Yucca mixtecana, Dasylirion lucidum – noted for it’s smooth leaf surface and red marginal teeth - Agave marmorata and the clumping Brahea dulcis we’d seen the day before.
Below: left, Furcraea longaeva. Right, Yucca mixtecana
Below: Dasylirion lucidum
Below: a large specimen of Agave marmorata
Below: a silvery Brahea dulcis
Below: a cactus (I must get to grips with getting these cacti identified!) (eidt - Mammillaria haageana, maybe)
5km on and we stopped again – this time to look at a beautiful compact form of Agave salmiana, more Agave marmorata and the braheas again.
Below: Agave salmiana ssp crassispina
A little further, just northeast of Santiago Acatepec, we stopped for what we believe to be Agave peacockii, Yucca mixtecana, Yucca periculosa and a few billion columnar cacti.
Below: this double tooth is said to be diagnostic of Agave peacockii
Below: finally a cactus I recognised - Echinocactus platyacanthus
Below: Short lived success - I don't know these clumpers. (edit - Ferocactus flavovirens)
(Edit - below Ferocactus robustus)
Below: left, Yucca mixtecana, right, Yucca periculosa
Below: a grand old Yucca periculosa
Below: a few columnar cacti (Neobuxbaumia sp) ... just visible in the picture....
Only a few km on we saw a large stand of Beaucarnea gracilis.
Below: a few more of those cacti
We detoured off a short way to call into the botanic garden at Zapotitlan Salinas, but it wasn’t really worth the M$30 each entrance fee as it mainly featured - yup, you guessed - those columnar cacti.
A few km short of Tehuacán, just about exactly as per Gentry, we saw Agave stricta in both red and green forms, growing together.
As the afternoon faded we drove into Tehuacán which we found to be rather large and smelly. The guidebook recommended the un-Mexican sounding Hotel Burgh Suites and M$400 got us a huge room on an upper floor. Dinner was nothing special, but after such an intensely plant-tastic day, who cares?
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