Turbinicarpus alonsoi Facts
- Perhaps most notably, the amazing Turbinicarpus alonsoi has no common name. However, this does not negate the fact that this fabulous succulent is an extremely fascinating plant.
- But, quite sadly, the marvelous species of succulent now faces the serious possibility of extinction. This occurs due to a combination of numerous factors, not all of which are environmental in nature.
- Firstly, its current natural habitat remains severely restricted. As a result, the danger of every threat becomes compounded. Secondly, climate change and illegal collecting also pose dire threats to it.
- Further, due to these many factors, the IUCN, truly justifiably, currently lists it as Critically Endangered. Finally, current estimates place the number of mature specimens in the wild at fewer than 5,000.
Turbinicarpus alonsoi Physical Description
First of all, it must be pointed out that the marvelous Turbinicarpus alonsoi remains a physically small specimen. Furthermore, unlike some related species, this comparatively tiny plant has a flattened spherical shape.
Additionally, the rounded stem of the succulent only attains an average diameter of 2.4 – 2.75 in (6 – 7 cm). Also, the elongated section of this interesting cactus typically reaches a total length of about 4.3 in (11 cm).
However, the ribs of the plant arrange themselves as a multitude of tubercules. These typically reach a length of about 0.6 in (15 mm). But, in width these same structures average 0.5 in (13 mm) at the base.
Also surprisingly, the majority of this species remains tucked away below the surface. Therefore, the taproot of the cactus grows relatively long. Finally, the numerous flowers produced develop as a deep pink in color.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Cactaceae
- Genus: Turbinicarpus
- Species: T. alonsoi
Turbinicarpus alonsoi Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite unfortunately, the stunning Turbinicarpus alonsoi only inhabits a tiny section of the world. This consists of a section of Xichu, Mexico, in North America. Further, its entire known range only includes a total of 3.86 sq mi (10 sq km).
It also has highly specific habitat requirements, further increasing its vulnerability. Firstly, this wonderful cactus only grows in regions highly arid scrub. Yet, it also requires the soil in such spots to be high in chalk content.
However, it’s needs do not even end there. It also only appears at an approximately specific elevation above sea level. This consists of at or around 6,234 ft (1,900 m). As a result, its options remain severely limited.
Further, it also has a particular period of the year in which it blooms. This occurs between March and October. Its elongated fruit stays rather small, at about 0.2 – 0.4 in (5 – 10 mm). Finally, the numerous seeds also remain extremely tiny.