Come si puliscono i frutti dei cactus per ottenere i semi e riprodurre le nostre piante

Riprodurre i cactus partendo dai semi è uno dei migliori modi per conoscere a fondo queste piante. Attraverso la semina possiamo infatti osservare tutto il ciclo di vita della pianta, dalla nascita alla produzione del primo fiore, all’invecchiamento, alla morte. Senza scordare la grande soddisfazione che la nascita delle plantule è in grado di offrire a chi pratica la semina per la prima volta così come a chi la pratica ogni anno da decenni. Per non dire del primo fiore: arrivare a vedere che quella pianta che abbiamo fatto nascere da un piccolo seme, dopo due anni o dopo vent’anni a seconda della specie, apre finalmente il suo fiore… non ha prezzo, c’è poco da fare.

Ma prima di arrivare a tutto questo – riguardo alla procedura di semina ricordate che in questo sito è presente un’intera sezione con almeno una quindicina di articoli dedicati a questo argomento, a questo link – occorre procurarsi i semi. Banale, scontato. Ma senza quelli non si va da nessuna parte. E due sono i modi per procurarsi i semi: acquistarli da rivenditori specializzati (ormai quasi esclusivamente online) oppure produrli con l’impollinazione manuale di proprie piante. Oppure… semplicemente raccogliere i frutti che le nostre piante hanno prodotto grazie a qualche insetto impollinatore, accettare il fatto che potrebbero essere state impollinate due piante non di identica specie (e che quindi avremo a che fare con dei nascituri ibridi), pulire i frutti, conservarli e seminarli alla volta della primavera.

In questo articolo e nel video correlato vediamo come pulire e preparare i semi per la conservazione in vista della futura semina. Ricordiamo sempre che i semi vanno conservati correttamente, pena il deterioramento degli stessi e il conseguente drastico calo di germinabilità. (…)

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I frutti dei cactus: forme, colori e tempi di maturazione della nostra “riserva di semi”

I frutti delle cactacee maturano generalmente dalla tarda primavera all’estate. In alcuni casi, tuttavia, la fase di maturazione può protrarsi all’autunno inoltrato. Se i fiori sono appariscenti e molto colorati, non meno belli possono essere i frutti di alcune piante grasse: grossi, carnosi, di colori accesi che vanno dal giallo intenso al rosso fuoco.

Per le piante autofertili non occorre impollinazione: il frutto spunta dall’apice della pianta in pochi giorni. Per la maggior parte delle succulente occorre invece che i fiori siano stati impollinati. In questi casi la produzione del frutto è generalmente più lenta e si innesca da quando il fiore appassisce. Da questo momento si crea il caratteristico ingrossamento alla base dello stelo, che col tempo porterà al frutto vero e proprio.

Gymnocalycium con frutti aperti
Gymnocalycium con frutti aperti

Certe cactacee impiegano pochi giorni per produrre i loro frutti. E’ il caso, ad esempio, degli Astrophytum, che portano a maturazione il frutto nell’arco di un paio di settimane dalla fioritura (nel caso di impollinazione, naturalmente).

Altre piante possono invece impiegare diversi mesi, se non un anno intero, per portare a termine la produzione dei frutti. E’ questo il caso di molti Ferocactus e delle Coryphantha, giusto per indicare un paio di generi.

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