ISI 2011-29. Huernia ‘Foma’ J. Trager

Some purists may look down their noses at hybrids, especially open-pollinated hybrids of uncertain parentage, but this one seems harmless enough. In fact, it is rather desirable for its showy and abundant flowers, produced over a long period in summer and fall on vigorous growth resistant to the fungal and/or bacterial rots that plague many stapeliads. Its flower is striking for the distinctness of the reddish annulus against the creamy-yellow corolla. As is typical of most huernia flowers, marginal small points alternate with the corolla lobes and, in this hybrid, these are mirrored by pointed extensions of the brick-red annulus. This is an open-pollinated hybrid of H. thuretii var. primulina. The most likely pollen parent grown with it at the time is H. zebrina ssp. insigniflora. The name is derived from a one-time rock band in Pasadena, California, that in turn borrowed the term foma, meaning “harmless untruths”, from the fictional religion Bokonism in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle. Rooted cuts of HBG 104216, $7.

flower detail

Photo © 2011 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 83 (2), March - April, 2011