How good is Bill Shaneyfelt at naming desert plants? - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

December 1, 2018

How good is Bill Shaneyfelt at naming desert plants?

Rest day in San Ignacio

We said goodbye to all our friends this morning. They were really a little too into their bike tours and were off to continue cycling, while Dea and I were quite sure another rest day was in order. That's not to say we didn't do any cycling today though. Actually we managed to ride the three kilometres from La Casa Del Cyclista into the old town of San Ignacio. This sightseeing excursion took us past the river, wide like a lake and full of water, which made this place such an oasis. It was surreal to see so much water in the desert. This water was the reason for all of the date palms, that we cycled through all of the way into San Ignacio. There we found a peaceful town square and a church from the 1700's.

So... much... water!
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Palm trees everywhere!
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Ludo VerhoevenHi Dea and Chris, cycling without paniers, campingmaterial, etc ... doesn’t that feel a little bit strange?
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6 months ago
We could see the dates growing on them!
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A church!
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The church was, you know, a church. But the really exciting thing about it was the garden next to it, because in this garden there were a lot of different desert plants growing. As some of you may have noticed, there has been a regular feature on this blog, the cool desert plant of the day. And what you may not have noticed is that under every single one of these cool desert plant photos that I post arrives a comment by a man named Bill Shaneyfelt naming what the desert plant is. Quite the expert in desert plants is Mr Shaneyfelt. Except - how do we know he's telling the truth? He might just be making it all up, mighten he? He might just be pretending to know, blagging it. (He has been including links to verify his claims, but I haven't really been clicking on them, and maybe he knows that I wouldn't.) And so you can imagine my delight to see that the desert plants in the church garden all had identifying name plates in front of them. Ahah! How the tables have turned! Now I do know what the desert plants are. And so, having blanked out the name plates, I place the photos here, and let us all see if Bill Shaneyfelt is up for the challenge of naming the desert plants now that he knows I know the correct answers. There will be points awarded for the English name, the Latin name, and in many cases, the Spanish name also. Good luck Bill, and anyone else who wants to play, feel free to join in:

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Bill ShaneyfeltSome species of barrel cactus.

Since it has pink curved main spines, I am going to go with likely fire barrel (Ferocactus gracilis).

http://www.florafinder.com/Species/Ferocactus_gracilis.php

The trouble with trying to figure out what plants in a garden are is that they could be from almost anywhere, and often times it is like real estate with regards to species... location, location, location.

By the way, I am really not an expert! Google image search is the expert. All I do is try and match the image to something from a reputable website.
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6 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Bill ShaneyfeltAnother complicating factor with gardens is that they get more water than typical, making growth somewhat different so pictures do not match typical photos.
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6 months ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like some kind of yucca...

I'm going to guess Spanish dagger (Yucca schidigera)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_schidigera
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6 months ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltThis one might be Pitahaya (Stenocereus gummosus).

https://www.sdnhm.org/oceanoasis/fieldguide/sten-gum.html
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6 months ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltIt is a species of cholla. I spent a good deal of time working on this. Spines are really thick like teddy bear cholla, but too short and the older spines are not dark. My initial gut feeling was cane cholla (cylindropuntia spinosior) because of its appearance, but it is not native to Baja.

I found one that sort of matches and is native... clavellina cholla (Cylindropuntia alcahes ) so that is what I will guess it might be, but it could be some kind of hybrid as well.

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/273617-Cylindropuntia-alcahes
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6 months ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltNot much detail to go on here, but I will hazard a guess that it is elephant tree (Pachycormus discolor )

http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=717
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6 months ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltEven less able to figure this out. Nope,not even going to guess on it.
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6 months ago

Awesome, answers will be revealed tomorrow. Until then here is a little story about how we got back to La Casa Del Cyclista: We started cycling, and immediately I realised that I had a flat tyre. Of course we'd brought nothing to fix it on such a short trip, so I had to walk back. I told Dea to just cycle on back without me, but she insisted on walking with me. Isn't she sweet? 

She is.
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Today's ride: 3 km (2 miles)
Total: 834 km (518 miles)

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