Hildewintera species origin & hybrids
Hildewintera is commonly used as a classification of cactus hybrids crossed with Cliestocactus winterii species, Akersia, lobivia, Matucaca and various Echinopsis hybrids. The genus referring to Hildewintera species has been changed to Cliestocactus. So Hildewintera aureispina is now renamed Cleistocactus winterii but both are the same plant species or synonymous.
Who named the genus Hildewintera ?
Friedrich Ritter named the genus Hildewintera , (Below is a picture of a Hildewintera hybrid named after him). Friedrich was a botanist who collected and described many species of cacti. Friedrich Ritter was a prominent expert and discoverer of several cacti. The genus Ritterocereus is named in his honor. Friedrich Ritter named the genus Hildewintera though after his sister named Hildegarda Winter (1893-1975). Hildegarda also sold seeds from the many plants Friedrich collected.
Friedrich Ritter was also an extraordinary German traveller, geologist, adventurer and cactus collector. He is best known for the cactus seeds he collected and that were sold by his sister Hildegard Winter, and for his 4-volume work Kakteen in Sudamerika, which summarizes the results of his many years of travel (1952–1971). Ritter’s personal herbarium was deposited in the Museo de Historia Natural in Santiago de Chile in 1972. The material was mostly mere plant fragments associated with small scraps of paper with short locality data and remained in its original state (enveloped in newspapers, packed in boxes) until the early 1990s, when the Swiss National Science Foundation financed a project to compile a complete inventory. This was done together with Beat Leuenberger, and was published in 1996.
Though Friedrich Ritter is best known for S. American cacti, Aztekium ritteri was named after him when he was working as a geologist in N. America, but you will find quite a few plants called ritteri named after him. Examples; Parodia ritteri & Matucana ritteri.
Hildewintera species growth and flower characteristics
Hildewintera is now generally used to describe all hybrid cactus crosses which have similar traits to the species in that the stems are tall and mostly slender and often multi-branched with numerous ribs or cylindrical and closely set areoles and spines. Hildewintera species also generally have pendant stems in there growth forms.The flowers of species are tubular and the tips hardly open with only the style and stamens usually protruding. The name Cleistocactus comes from the Greek kleistos meaning closed because the flowers hardly open.
Hildewintera hybrid growth and flower characteristics
The growth of Hildewintera hybrids are similar to species growth mentioned above, depending on the cross used some can be less slender or have shorter spines or fewer ribs. Although the original species of Hildewintera or (Cleistocactus) have very small tubular flowers that bloom from the stem tips and sides of the stems. Through extensive crossing or hybridization with other cacti genera specifically Echinopsis many Hildewintera hybrids today now have much larger diameter flowers in both a wider range of colors and petal forms.
Where did Hildewintera (Cleistocactus) species originate from?
Cleistocactus is a genus of columnar cacti that are native to mountainous areas 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina.
The species genera listed below have been brought into synonymy with Cleistocactus;
Akersia, Bolivicereus, Borzicactella, Borzicactus, Borzicereus, Cephalocleistocactus, Cleistocereus, Clistanthocereus, Demnosa, Gymnanthocereus, Hildewintera, Loxanthocereus, Maritimocereus, Seticereus, Seticleistocactus, Winteria, Winterocereus.