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Cameron Highlands Nurseries Page 8

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Cactus Valley C&S Collection Part 4

The showcase display on the main terrace level: lots and lots of large Echinocactus grusonii. Practically all of the plants in the display section must have been imported; the C&S industry here is too young to have mass-produced large specimens. Most of the plants at Cactus Valley seem to be healthy and well taken care of. Hats off to whoever is maintaining the collection. I wonder how much all of it cost...
The topmost specimen. There is some damage to the bottom half of the plant's ribs. This is also the only Echinocactus grusonii that was flowering. I suppose the rest are not old enough. Very large barrel cactus specimens are usually not for sale in Malaysian nurseries because they are for display only; the smaller (but still large) ones go for a few hundred RM. A nice investment, but only if you are really able to care for it.
Mature Melocactus plants. This genus is well suited to the Malaysian climate. Coming from Brazil, Melocactus specimens will flower willingly when mature, that is, when the cephalium appear. So, if you are into the genus Melocactus, then be prepared to wait till it matures and grows a cephalium. Alternatively, the short cut is to buy a mature plant.
Zooming into the previous picture. Very, very nice, especially to someone like me who doesn't own a mature Melocactus specimen. Drool-worthy. I plan to grow mine to maturity, and when that day comes, you can bet that I will be one happy dude. This is a horticultural challenge which comes naturally to a stout proponent of seed-growing like yours truly .
A couple of seed pods can be seen in this picture. Since the operator of Cactus Valley doesn't seem to value seed pods, you might be able to smuggle out a pod or two for your own use. If you don't want to be sneaky , you can ask them, and they might well allow it. I've heard from other collectors that some nurseries elsewhere don't care about seed pods and happily allow visitors to collect them.
Assorted specimens. The deeply ribbed plants are Ferocactus, including the big brute in the centre of the display. Specimens with many white spines are Mammillarias. One Echinocactus grusonii is visible in the lower right of the picture, and a large Notocactus is visible in the centre-left portion of the picture.
Another section of the main display level. Many Mammillarias are visible, along with a few token specimens of Opuntia. There are at least two species of Opuntia at Cactus Valley.
Opuntia auberi. The flowers of Opuntia auberi is quite distinctive. This species of Opuntia is commonly found in many Malaysian homes. At least one other species of classically-shaped Opuntia (with yellow flowers that opens) can be found at Cactus valley. Apart from this generic form and Opuntia microdasys, Opuntias are not very popular. I, for one, abhor glochids .
A closer look at some of the solitary Mammillaria specimens in the foreground. It's nice to know that the air in Cameron Highlands is still clean enough that the white colour of 'woolly' hair on specimens can be preserved. It would be very difficult to maintain such a state of beauty and cleanliness in an urban environment where grime and dust stick fast to surfaces. Dirty gray-looking hairs on specimens is almost impossible to clean.

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