Arizona Cactus Book

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The 1,000-member Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society recently released its updated “Field Guide to Cacti and Other Succulents of Arizona.” The book is a comprehensive handbook and detailed guide to the identification and distribution of cactus in our state. Thomas Staudt of the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society will tell us more about the book.

TED SIMONS: THE 1,000 MEMBER TUCSON CACTUS AND SUCCULENT SOCIETY UPDATED THEIR FIELD GUIDE. THE BOOK IS A COMPREHENSIVE AND DETAILED GUIDE TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF CACTI AROUND THE STATE. THOMAS STOUT OF THE SOCIETY IS HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT THE BOOK. WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." IT'S CACTI, CORRECT?

THOMAS STOUT: IT'S CACTI, FOR THE COLLECTION.

TED SIMONS: A CACTUS AND A WHOLE LOT OF CACTI?

THOMAS STOUT: CORRECT.
TED SIMONS: ALRIGHT I FOUND MYSELF IMMERSED IN THE BOOK.
TED SIMONS: IT'S SET TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE. KNOWING MYSELF AS A BIRD WATCHER FIRST, KNOWING THEY JUMP ON TO BIRD WATCHING BOOKS AND KNOW WHAT'S THERE. I LOOKED AT ARIZONA CACTI AND THOUGHT, WE HAVEN'T HAD A BOOK CLOSE TO THIS IN 40 YEARS. THIS IS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC. WE HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB OF THAT. ARIZONA, WHAT A WONDERFUL PLACE FOR CACTI. THERE ARE FOUR DESERTS IN ARIZONA. I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT. WE THINK OF THE DESERT. WE THINK OF THE SONORAN DESSERT. AS YOU GET FURTHER NORTH YOU HAVE THE CACTUS THAT GROW IN THE NORTHERN DISES EARTHS.

TED SIMONS: WE HAVE A BUNCH OF THESE TO LOOK AT. LET'S START WITH ONE THAT'S MINUTE. WE HAVE A PHOTO OF THIS THING WITH A PIN CUSHION. HOW DO YOU STUMBLE ACROSS SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

THOMAS STOUT: WE WENT OUT WITH A COUPLE OF THE AUTHORS. MY WIFE, ONE OF THE AUTHORS AND A GERMAN VISITING, WE WENT TO THE SITE. WE KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR. YOU DO A PRETTY INTENSE SEARCH.
TED SIMONS: WE DIDN'T LOOK AT IT TOO LONG. IT'S A PRETTY CACTUS. A LOT OF THESE THINGS ARE VERY PRETTY.

THOMAS STOUT: THEY ARE PRETTY IN THEMSELVES. WE TRIED TO GET FLOWERING SPECIES.

TED SIMONS: SPEAKING OF WHICH WE HAVE THE BEAVER TAIL PRICKLY THE THAT'S THE CUTEST LITTLE THING.

THOMAS STOUT: IT KIND OF GRABS YOU, YOU ARE USED TO SAGUAROS SOMETHING HUGE.

TED SIMONS: WE ARE USED TO PRICKLY PEAR. THIS IS A BEAVER TAIL PRICKLY PEAR. WHERE IS THIS FOUND?

THOMAS STOUT: IT GROWS IN WESTERN PART OF THE STATE, AND THERE IS A LITTLE GROUP THAT GROW AROUND THE NORTH RIM AS WELL. VERY DRY CLIMATE.

TED SIMONS: INTERESTING.

TED SIMONS: IT'S TOO WET FOR THEM TO GROW IN THE TUCSON AND PHOENIX AREAS. YOU CAN GROW THEM HERE. YOU DON'T WANT TO WATER THEM.

TED SIMONS: WE SAW THE WHOLE GROUP OF THEM. LET'S LOOK AT A CACTUS FLOWER OF THE SAME PLANT. THIS IS GORGEOUS.

THOMAS STOUT: THOSE ARE FLOWERING RIGHT NOW. WE SAW THEM NEAR THE GRAND CANYON.

TED SIMONS: FLOWER ONCE A YEAR?

THOMAS STOUT: YES. ONCE IN A WHILE THEY GET THE RIGHT WEATHER SITUATION.

TED SIMONS: NEXT IS THE BARREL CACTUS, A CALIFORNIA BARREL CACTUS. WE HAVE ALL SEEN BARREL CACTUS, HAVEN'T WE?

THOMAS STOUT: YES. THIS IS THE COMMON BARREL IN THE PHOENIX AREA. AROUND TUCSON, WE HAVE BARREL CACTUS. OUT IN THE DESERT, THIS IS THE ONE YOU SEE.

TED SIMONS: THE NEXT ONE IS CALLED THE RELIC HEDGEHOG. I'M NOT SURE WHY IT'S CALLED THE RELIC HEDGEHOG, BUT IT'S A GROUP PHOTO. THAT'S A GORGEOUS SHOT.

THOMAS STOUT: IT'S THE SPECIES JUST DESCRIBED TO SCIENCE IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR. THE DAY AFTER IT WAS PUBLISHED, WE WENT TO THE PRINTERS. I WAS ALL SET, READY TO GO. AS SOON AS WE HEARD IT WAS PUBLISHED WE WENT TO TUCSON AND SAID, READY FOR THE SECOND EDITION.

TED SIMONS: YOU HAVE THE CACTUS AS WELL.

THOMAS STOUT: BLAKE WILLARD IS WORKING TO ESTABLISH IT AS A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT SPECIES. IT'S THE GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER OF THE MANIA GROUP.

TED SIMONS: OF COURSE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. IT'S A PRETTY FLOWER. LAST ONE IS THE ORGAN PIPE CACTUS. MY IMPRESSION IS THAT ORGAN PIPES ARE EVERYWHERE. MY IMPRESSION IS WRONG, ISN'T IT?

THOMAS STOUT: THAT'S CORRECT. THE NATIVE HABITAT IS LIMITED TO THE ORGAN PIPE NATIONAL MONUMENT, ONLY IN THAT AREA. FROM THE BOOK IT LOOKS LIKE A LOT OF THESE PARTICULAR SPECIES, YOU FIND THEM IN LIMITED AREAS. YES, MANY OF THEM, THE FIRST SPECIES, A LIMITED DESCRIPTION UP AROUND LITTLE EAST OF HOLBROOK AREA. AND THAT'S IT.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S IT. CAN YOU BUY THAT TYPE OF THING? CAN YOU PUT IT IN YOUR FRONT WINDOW?
THOMAS STOUT: SOME ARE FOR SALE AT VARIOUS GROWERS. TUCSON HAS A LOT OF GROWERS. SOME OF THEM ARE HARD TO GROW. YOU MAY HAVE A GREENHOUSE AND CONTROL GROWING THEM IN THAT SITUATION. GERMANS GROW A LOT OF THESE THINGS.

TED SIMONS: GERMANS?

THOMAS STOUT: THEY HAVE BEEN INTERESTED A LONG TIME AND HAVE PUBLISHED MATERIAL ON THEM. GREENHOUSE SITUATIONS, OUTDOORS, SOME OF THE THINGS WE WENT TO LOOK AT IN THE GRAND CANYON, BRING THEM TO TUCSON, THEY DON'T LIKE IT. IT DOESN'T COOL OFF AT NIGHT OR IT RAINS TOO MUCH.

THOMAS STOUT: THEY LOOK ROUGH AND TOUGH, BUT THEY ARE TEMPERATURE SENSITIVE PLANTS.

THOMAS STOUT: MOST OF THEM IN THE BOOK YOU GUYS MARCHING AROUND AND TAKING PHOTOS. FOR THE SECOND EDITION, WE PICKED OUT A FEW THAT DIDN'T HAVE FLOWERS. WE PURSUED THOSE. I CHASED DOWN PEOPLE TO TRY TO GET NEW FLOWER PHOTOS. WE PAID FOR THAT.

TED SIMONS: IT'S SIMILAR TO BIRD WATCHING, ISN'T IT?

THOMAS STOUT: IT DOESN'T CATCH ON AS MUCH, BUT YES. IN BIRD WATCHING, YOU DON'T HAVE PEOPLE GROWING THEM IN THEIR YARDS, BUT IT'S A -- YEAH, KIND OF A FOCUS AND ACTIVITY THAT YOU CAN CERTAINLY BE INVOLVED IN, LOOKING AT THEM IN YOUR YARD OR GOING OUT INTO THE FIELD TO LOOK FOR THEM.

TED SIMONS: IT'S A GREAT BOOK FOR THE NOVICE ESPECIALLY TO GO OUT THERE AND FIND WHAT THEY CAN FIND. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SUCCESS OF THIS. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

THOMAS STOUT: THANK YOU.

Thomas Staudt: Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society

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