Echeveria brachetii

l first saw this Echeveria when I was taken to the rocky, near sheer mountainside where it grows. At the time it seemed to be a fairly uninteresting, very small growing, probably deciduous species growing in an inhospitable environment, that would not lend itself to easy cultivation in captivity.

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Fig. 1 – E brachetii in habitat

But I have to admit now to being totally bowled over by this species. It was included in my book on the genus (2008), with the temporary name of Echeveria ‘Macuiltianguis’, but has since been described as E. brachetii, and I wrote a short article about this in the online journal ‘The Cactus Explorer’.

In cultivation it makes a small, branching plant, with few-leaved rosettes. But its appeal to me is its habit of producing its flowers, one or more on every offset, in the winter months, when flowering plants are by no means plentiful. And every time I venture to the greenhouse to check that the heating is OK, and there are no unwanted drips, it greets me with its winter exhibition.

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Fig 2 – E brachetii in cultivation

It has not become generally available, but I am told that some are being propagated, so watch out for this winter delight.

John Pilbeam

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