Shmuel Matityahu, Chairman of The Cactus and Succulent Society of Israel since 1998, has been
collecting cacti since 1973 and growing them on the grounds of his Tel Aviv home.
The collection comprises more than 3,500 different identified species.
Most of the collection is growing in pots while a small part of it has been planted in the ground.
Shmuel examining a Ferocactus in its habitat,
Mojave desert, California
Emphasis and Principles:
My collection has been expanded principally by sowing the seeds of new varieties almost every year.
Full-grown cacti are planted in bonsai pots from Japan and the Far East.
Favorite Families and Groups:
Lithops & Conophytum
Plants that are difficult to grow I customarily graft at an early stage,
2 weeks to 3 months following germination.
The results speak for themselves. A one-year-old Aztekium hintonii
seedling, which I grafted when it was the size of a pinhead, is
presently 4 cm across with 4-5 offsets. The same is true for
Geohintonia mexicana and for species of Ariocarpus.
Interesting and Rare Plants in My Collection:
A southern African plant from the vicinity of Lesotho. It has recently become highly endangered and is on the verge of extinction. A very difficult plant to grow. In its habitat, it grows under the unique climatic conditions of rainfall year round at an elevation of about 2,500 m. It requires temperatures up to 25°C. Intense heat is stressful to the plants. Photographed in Santa Cruz in Mr. Beverly's garden.
Relatively easy plants to grow. Their attraction is the variety of flower colors exhibited by their hybrids. There are international societies and collections that specialize in this genus and its hybrids.
Member of a group of dwarf plants. Easy to grow and easily propagated from its seeds. Its attraction is the texture, color and density of its spines. This genus is peculiar in that its flower buds don't always open-yet they manage to produce fruit containing viable seeds.
Echinocereus pectinatus rigidissimus rubrispinus
An easy plant to grow, its attractiveness is in the color and density of its spines.
This plant belongs to a genus distinctive for its blue color and white hairs. It is sensitive to cold, and especially sensitive to hailstones.
The only member of its genus (monotypic).
Its appeal is in the greenish-gray epidermis and black spines. Closely related to the Mammillaria.
It tends to redden, though this is not due to disease, and apparently is unavoidable.
An extremely rare plant, discovered in 1991 in Mexico by Hinton, the Mexican explorer. Until then, Aztekium was believed to be a monotypic genus, comprised only of Aztekium ritteri.
The plant illustrated here plant is one year old and was grafted onto Myrtillocactus when it was only the size of the head of a pin.
A rare plant, discovered by Hinton of Mexico
about the time he discovered Aztekium hintonii in 1991 in Mexico.
This plant is zealously protected by the Mexican Government because four years after its discovery it was "stolen" from its habitat by American and European "natural scientists" and nursery owners. The Mexican Government has declared that all plants of this species are its property and claims it has the authority to confiscate them.
The illustrated plant is a one-year-old grafted seedling, after flowering.
A one-year-old seedling, grafted onto Myrtillocactus.This individual plant is remarkable because although the flowers would ordinarily be cream-colored, this one has pinkish-white flowers.
A particularly interesting plant, discovered during the early 1960s in Brazil. Armed with a symmetric array of dense spines, its epidermis is reddish-brown, and its apex has a contrasting pattern of dense white wool, giving it a striking appearance. The flowers, which are small and yellow, are not particularly remarkable.
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