Da una bancarella un curioso ritrovamento: ecco come si parlava di cactus nell’Italia di 60 anni fa

Il Serpente”, “L’Imperatrice”, “Il Riccio”, “La Testa Irsuta”, “Il Tessitore”, “Il Re del Deserto”. Ecco come in Italia negli anni Sessanta venivano chiamati alcuni comuni cactus ancora oggi molto diffusi in coltivazione. Erano gli anni del boom economico e per quanto il Paese fosse concentrato sul rilancio dell’economia, la fantasia evidentemente non mancava. Oggi la maggior parte di questi nomignoli non è più in uso e fa sorridere leggere queste definizioni per le cactacee, ma anche questo è un piccolo spaccato di storia, un piccolo esempio di come cambiano usi e costumi nel tempo. 

Questa “finestra sul passato” mi è offerta da un ritrovamento fortuito, avvenuto qualche mese fa, tra i tomi di una bancarella di libri. Tra un volume e l’altro, ecco spuntare un opuscolo, un fascicoletto a colori in carta sottile, ingiallito dal tempo ma tutto sommato ancora ben conservato. Il titolo della mini guida (il formato è di 11 centimetri di lunghezza per 17 centimetri di altezza e le pagine sono in tutto 16) è semplicemente “Cactus – Enciclopedia della flora”. Da quello che sono riuscito a ricostruire, si tratta di un inserto dell’allora ben nota rivista “Intrepido” uscito con il numero 42 del 18 ottobre 1962. Esattamente sessanta anni fa. 

Per chi ama le cactacee, ama le curiosità e subisce il fascino del passato (come me), ecco allora un piccolo tuffo in quegli anni Sessanta (…)

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Apre la nuova sezione de “Il fiore tra le spine”: ecco lo shop online e le schede di coltivazione in pdf

Il fiore tra le spine apre una nuova sezione rivolta sia ai tanti abbonati (grazie per il supporto!) che ai non abbonati. La sezione, che trovate a questo link così come nella parte alta del sito, è il NEGOZIO online. Qui avrete la possibilità, se vorrete, di abbonarvi al sito per la fruizione integrale dei suoi contenuti e di acquistare quello che di volta in volta il sito proporrà in materia di cactus e piante succulente. Partiamo per ora con le schede di coltivazione in formato pdf stampabile per proseguire, un domani, con altri prodotti come i semi raccolti dalle mie piante (non quelli di specie protette).

Vi spiego in dettaglio di cosa si tratta in questo breve articolo (…)

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Schlumbergera, un trionfo di fiori a ridosso del Natale: cure e consigli di coltivazione

Novembre e dicembre sono i mesi della Schlumbergera. E’ sufficiente un giro in un qualsiasi vivaio o garden per rendersene conto. Detta comunemente “Cactus di Natale” o “Natalina” per la sua spettacolare fioritura in questi mesi, Schlumbergera truncata è una cactacea diffusissima e conosciuta in tutto il mondo. A dispetto della forma del fusto, che porterebbe a pensare a una pianta succulenta a foglia, è in realtà un vero e proprio cactus, classificato dunque nella famiglia delle Cactaceae. Si tratta di una pianta epifita, ossia una pianta che in natura cresce appoggiata ai rami di altre piante, producendo però radici autonome e non parassitando le altre essenze.

Facile da coltivare, robusta e a crescita relativamente veloce, regala fioriture eccezionali, abbondanti e molto decorative, con fiori di quasi ogni colore ottenuti ibridando le varie piante, in particolare della specie truncata. Per la facilità di coltivazione, per la sua grande adattabilità e per il fatto che può prosperare anche in appartamento, è un cactus assolutamente consigliato a chi si sta avvicinando solo ora alla coltivazione di questa famiglia botanica.

In questo articolo, corredato da un mio video, conosciamo meglio questa pianta così diffusa e apprezzata. (…)

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Tra esemplari unici e rarità: visita alle serre di Mario Del Panta, il “re” degli Astrophytum

Con cactus e piante succulente si può dire che ci è letteralmente cresciuto. Fin da piccolo bazzicava il vivaio gestito dalla nonna, dove le “piante grasse” abbondavano. “Incidevo le Euphorbia obesa con l’unghia e tutte le volte restavo colpito da quel lattice bianco che producono“, ricorda ridendo. Da allora, anche per Mario Del Panta gli anni sono passati e quello che prima era il lavoro della nonna è oggi il suo lavoro, oltre che una delle sue principali passioni. Un destino per certi versi “segnato”, anche perché siamo a Bordighera, nel tratto della Liguria a un passo dalla Costa Azzurra francese, un’area che vanta uno dei migliori microclimi di tutta Europa e qui le piante succulente te le ritrovi praticamente ovunque. E’ qui che Mario ha il suo vivaio, costituito da varie serre – serre di una volta, in ferro e vetro, affascinanti e cariche di storia – ed è qui, letteralmente a due passi dal mare (in linea d’aria tra le sue serre e la spiaggia non corrono nemmeno 30 metri) che Mario porta avanti la sua attività commerciale di produttore e grossista.

Nel “racconto” e soprattutto nelle foto che seguono, ecco un piccolo viaggio tra piante insolite, piante per veri appassionati e “semplicemente” esemplari meravigliosi di 40 o 50 anni d’età. (…)

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Il Giardino Esotico di Pallanca, un vero paradiso per gli amanti delle succulente: foto e video

Nel mio caso rappresenta ormai una tappa fissa, che raggiungo appena possibile ogni tre o quattro anni. Per altri appassionati di cactus e piante succulente, la visita al Giardino Esotico di Pallanca a Bordighera, in Liguria, a un passo dalla Costa Azzurra francese, può rivelarsi una piacevolissima scoperta e al tempo stesso un luogo dove imparare moltissimo su queste piante. In questo articolo trovate una breve descrizione del Giardino Esotico, una corposa gallery fotografica e il link al video che ho realizzato in occasione della mia recente visita a questo vero e proprio orto botanico a cielo aperto e in fronte al mare.

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