Hechtia texensis

I was happy to find some images that reminded me of fireworks to start the New Year. Big thanks to Jim, aka J.G. in S.F.@Flickr of San Francisco, California for today’s photographs (original image 1 | original image 2 | BPotD Flickr Pool). Given that this is also a season of colds, I’m also amused to voice the word Hechtia with an overemphasized Germanic pronunciation (I amuse easily), though I note some places suggest the pronunciation is instead heck’ tya. I think the former is more correct, though (perhaps without the overemphasis), as the genus is named after Julius Gottfried Conrad Hecht, a 19th century German counselor to the King of Prussia. When scientific names are based on a person’s name, my understanding is that the correct pronunciation reflects the way one would say the person’s name.

The epithet texensis reveals part of the distribution of this species. Found in southwest Texas and south into northern Mexico, Texas false agave is one of five species in the genus Hechtia that extend beyond Mexico’s borders (the other 45 or so are endemic to Mexico). A close relative, Hechtia glomerata, is the only other species found north of the USA-Mexico border, though it is widespread and its range extends outside of Mexico into Central America.

Hechtia texensis is a terrestrial bromeliad, forming a caudex to aid in its survival within dry, limestone, rocky habitats. For additional photographs, see Hechtia texensis from the Texas Native Plants Database and the USDA PLANTS database: Hechtia texensis (the latter has a good shot of a plant in habitat). For a scientific description, see the Flora of North America account: Hechtia texensis.

Photography resource link: The photography of the UK-born Swedish photographer Struan Gray might intrigue some of you (I particularly like his Tanglings set). Struan also has a weblog, Twiglog, though the last entry was in June.

Hechtia texensis
Hechtia texensis

25 responses to “Hechtia texensis”

  1. Betsy Ann Baker

    WOW! I would have been happy for anything from BPotD, but this! Glad you’re back,my thanks and happy New Year.

  2. Nancy

    Looks like a dyckia to me. Very cool pics. These are the dickens to divide.

  3. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Wonderful plant photo, and great photography link — Thank you, and Happy New Year.

  4. Eric in SF

    Daniel – tell your pronunciation rule to fans of the genus Fuchsia! *grin*

  5. annie Morgan

    So glad to have you back, and what a wonderful New Year photo! You’re so clever.

  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Yes, I think it would be a hard sell: Fuchsia Pronunciation.

  7. Quin

    hopeful new year! what a way to return – thanks!!! a little other wordly……

  8. Daniel

    very beautiful!

  9. Terri Shane

    Wow! F*A*B*U*L*O*U*S !

  10. Keith

    Thank you Daniel, and Happy New Year! That is,

  11. elizabeth a airhart

    happy to have you back daniel
    gaudeamus igitur 2010 here we are
    handsome photos the links quite good
    check out the new copy of audubon
    special issue photo awards issue
    really great photos for you to see
    the 5th being th un start of bio day birds day
    i think you wrote you would be takeing part?
    in the year ahead bon bon daniel

  12. Linda Allan

    Wonderful photography! All the very best for

  13. Mandy Macdonald

    A beautiful plant, and such a contrast to our exceptionally snowbound landscapes in Scotland just now. Thanks and HNY!

  14. Irma

    A very Happy New Year to you and a million thanks for your efforts to cheer all of us up with the very interesting and sometime very funny pictures and comments.

  15. marjorie lacy

    Happy New Year to all Plant people.

  16. Susanne

    As a German, I have to say: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?? :):)
    I usually break my tongue trying to pronounce a clearly German word the American way…….
    and of course the picture is gorgeous, though it still doesn’t quite make up for the lack of fireworks in my neck of the woods.

  17. Joyce

    Happy New Year! ^-^

  18. SoapySophia

    Awesome! Very fireworks like!

  19. lisa

    I love the succulent bromeliads! They do have nasty spikes though, and are painful to work with. This one is gorgeous. Welcome back Daniel! Thank you for the beautiful picture. It brightens up the winter gloom.

  20. Kasey

    Bless you & Gesundheit!!

  21. Carolina

    Great pictures! Have a happy new year, and to all following here too 🙂

  22. Christie

    Hooray for BPOTD!!! Happy new year!

  23. MercyJoy

    Gorgeous! Looks like little fireworks. They would be fun to paint:*)
    Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!
    (2010 already. Wow!)

  24. Susan Hall

    Perfect for the New Year. Welcome back, really been missing your terrific posts. Thanks for spoiling us.

  25. Wendy Cutler

    I’d already made that photo a favourite from the pool. I hadn’t connected it with the new year, but the blast did knock my socks off.
    Thanks too for the link to Struan Gray’s site. His writing on the Sand Boils page has a lot to think about. Funny juxtaposition in moods though, the day’s photo and Struan’s photos.

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