Curator Emeritus,

Huntington Botanical Gardens, 5508 N. Astell Ave.,

Azusa, CA 91702

In February 1983, Bill Baker of Reseda, Cal­ifornia, found an attractive white-leaved echeveria in a canyon a few miles west of Cochabamba, Bolivia. He gave plants to the Huntington Botanical Gardens, and when they flowered it was clear that yet another distinctive new suc­culent had been discovered.

During May of the next year, Bill and I were members of a Huntington Bolivian expedition that also included Mario Arandia, John Donald, Seymour Linden and Henry Varney. To examine and collect more material of the new echeveria, we made sure to stop at the original locality. After getting together our cameras, film, digging tools, paper bags, seed envelopes and other collecting paraphernalia, we began the steep climb into the canyon.

We soon found ourselves in a narrow gorge with a small stream, surrounded by high rocky cliffs. This was an enchanting spot with a pro­fusion of interesting plants. There were alders growing in the stream, just as in North America. On the slopes were picturesque trees of Polylepis incana, their gnarled branches trailing wisps of Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides). The polylepis, a member of the rose family, grows widely on the eastern slopes of the Andes, nearly always in a strikingly narrow zone between 3,200 and 3,800 meters.

The only cactus we saw was a still unidentified trichocereus resembling T. spachianus. There were many flowering tigridias, calceolarias, be­gonias, salvias and others, samples of which we collected for various herbaria. On the ridge at the top, Henry Varney found Puya humilis, a dwarfed species less than four inches high. This fine miniature xerophyte seems never to have been cultivated in the United States, but plants from seeds we collected on the other side of Cochabamba have since been distributed by the International Succulent Institute.

We found the first echeverias about halfway up the canyon, some within reach near the stream, but most far up on the shaded, sheer cliffs above. Like the echeverias of Mexico, these plants rarely grew on level ground but seemed to prefer cling­ing to the steepest rock surfaces. The handsome rosettes, glaucous white and faintly tinged red­dish, were up to five inches wide and differed greatly from the much smaller greenish rosettes of E. whitei we had collected earlier. We took only a few plants of the new species so as not to endanger the population, and for the same reason we are being vague about the exact locality.

A year later, in 1985, Mario Arandia collected the same species along the road from Aiquile to Mizque, some 150 km southeast of the previous locality. We had collected here with him on the 1984 trip, mainly looking for Sulcorebutia, but we had seen no echeverias. The two plants re­ceived from him are of different clones, the leaves light green in one, brownish red in the other. The plants are less glaucous than those at the type locality and the corollas are about 5 mm longer. Plants with intermediate characters may some-day be found between these two localities.

It is a pleasure to name this beautiful new echeveria for William Baker, an enthusiastic plant-lover, nurseryman and garden designer. Bill has made several plant-hunting excursions into Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia; his wide knowledge of plants and his adaptability to the rigors of collecting made him an ideal travelling companion on our ex­pedition.

Fig. 1. The type locality of E. bakeri, a canyon near Cochabamba. The echeverias grew mostly on the shad­ed slope at left. The trees at bottom of canyon are alders; those further up slopes are Polylepis. Photos by author.

Echeveria bakeri Kimn., sp. nov.

Planta raro prolifica omnino glabra. Caulis 2.5-3 cm crassus ad 10 cm longus. Rosula 18-20 cm lata, foliis oblongis ad oblanceolatis mucronatis 8-11 cm longis 25-31 mm latis 3-6 mm crassis glaucis albis vel rubellis vel viridulis. Caules florentes ad 45(-90) cm longi, bracteis ellipticis ad linearibus acutis 1.5-5.5 cm longis 5-20 mm latis 2-6 mm crassis; inflorescentia aequilatera; pedicelli ascendentes demum recurvi tandem erecti 9-22 mm longi ca 2 mm crassi; sepala appressa 4-8 mm longa 3 mm lata; corolla ovoidea valde angulata 12-20 mm longa 8-13 mm crassa, petalis subroseo-aurantiacis; stamina 4-10 mm longa; gynoecium 8-10 mm longum 5-6 mm crassum.

Fig. 2. Two plants (Kimnach et al. 2705) aff. bakeri at the type locality.

Plant usually a single rosette, entirely glabrous. Stem 2.5-3 cm thick and up to 10 cm long or more. Rosette 18-20 cm wide; leaves completely hiding upper part of stem, at first ascending, later spreading or slightly upcurving, when young lin­ear-elliptical to oblong or slightly spatulate, eventually oblanceolate, 8-11 cm long. 25-31 mm wide ca. 3 cm below apex, 15-17 mm wide near base, 3-6 mm thick ca. 3 cm from apex, white with thick waxy powder, the epidermis olive green to reddish beneath wax, the margin often reddish, or leaf nearly non-glaucous and then light green to reddish, the apical mucro del­toid and ca. 2 mm long and wide, the leaf-edge rather sharp, the upper surface somewhat convex on basal half, shallowly concave on apical half and often with a 2-4 mm wide longitudinal keel, the lower surface convex and obtusely keeled. Flowering stems 1 or 2, to 45 (-90) cm long. ca. 7 mm thick near base and 5 mm near apex, light­ly glaucous, basal 12-30 cm lacking flowers, bas­al 5 cm sometimes also lacking bracts; peduncle-bracts 1-1.5 cm apart, upper ones ascending to parallel with stem, lower ones expanding to spreading, widely elliptical to linear-ovate, acute, cuspidate, 1.5-5.5 cm long, 5-20 mm wide, 2-6 mm thick, usually heavily white-glaucous, or sometimes hardly so, each bract with a refuse to deltoid basal spur to 2 mm long and wide; inflo­rescence a simple equilateral raceme ca. 30-60 cm long; inflorescence-bracts linear-obovate to widely elliptical, acute, barely cuspidate, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 5-11 mm wide, 2-4 mm thick; flowers ca. 18-40 to each inflorescence, single; pedicels ascending when young, recurving during anthesis, erect and parallel to rachis or nearly so after closing, 9-22 mm long, ca. 2 mm thick, glaucous pinkish, sometimes lacking bracteoles but usu­ally with 1 or 2 linear-lanceolate acute bracteoles 3-9 mm long and 1-4 mm wide; calyx lobes united at base for 1-2 mm, erect and pressed against corolla, unequal, oblong-obovate, acute, 4-8 mm long, 3 mm wide, ca. 1.5 mm thick, glaucous, dark green beneath bloom, the apex sometimes reddish; corolla ovoid, strongly pen­tagonal, 8-13 mm thick; petals elliptical-oblong, subobtuse, minutely mucronate, strongly keeled, 12-20 mm long, 4.5-5.5 mm wide, pinkish or­ange outside and with a darker reddish center stripe, yellowish within and with a reddish apex; epipetalous stamens 4-6 mm long, the antesepalous 6-10 mm long, all filaments ca. 1 mm wide near base, yellowish, the anthers oblong, ca. 1.5 mm long and 1 mm wide, greenish yellow; gynoecium ovoid, 8-10 mm long, 5-6 mm thick at middle, the carpels greenish cream, the styles 2-3 mm long, separated ca. 1 mm but parallel, greenish or reddish, the stigmas nearly touching, yellowish green or dark red; nectaries ca. 0.75 mm long, ca. 1.25 mm wide, greenish cream. Chromosome number: n = ca. 160.

Fig. 3. Echeveria bakeri in cultivation.

BOLIVIA, Dept. Cochabamba. Prov. Quillacollo; ca. 30 km W of Cochabamba on road to Oruro, ca. 11,000' alt., on steep canyon cliffs, Feb. 1983, W. Baker 5159. Huntington B.G. 49862 (HNT, holotype; LP, MO, US, isotypes); May 6, 1984, Kimnach et al. 2705, Huntington B.G. 53046 (HNT, MO). Prov. Campero: along road from Aiquile to Mizque, 1985, Mario Arandia s.n., Huntington B.G. 54025 (HNT, MO).

Fig. 4. Echeveria bakeri Kimn., Kimnach et al. 2705. 1. Plant, x 1. 2. Leaf, x 0.5. 3, 4. Flower, lateral and apical views, x 1.5. 5. Corolla, interior view, x 1.5. 6. Gynoecium, x 1.5. 7. Inner base of petals with nectaries, x 0.20. Drawing by Marianne Wallace, 1984-1985, financed by a grant from the Cactus and Succulent Society of America.

South American echeverias are much less known than the Mexican species. Many were found only once or a few times and have been inadequately described and illustrated. The most distinct Bolivian species are E. whitei Rose and E. chilonensis (O. Kuntze) Walther. I consider two others published by Van Keppel (1969,1972) as synonyms: his E. rauschii appears to be E. whitei, whereas E. vanvlietii is hardly separable from E. chilonensis. The original description of E. chilonensis is unfortunately brief and that giv­en by Walther (1972) may be of more than one species; however, it is apparently distinct from E. bakeri in its small leaves (2.5 cm long by 1 cm wide, according to the original description, though these measurements may be of herbari­um specimens), erect pedicels and probably whitish flowers. That leaves E. whitei, distin­guishable as follows:

The chromosome counts were made by Charles Uhl of Cornell University and are published here for the first time. He has written me that "all Bolivian echeverias seem to have a lot of chro­mosomes. Meiosis is usually not quite regular, with unpaired chromosomes, some of them lag­ging at anaphase. Nevertheless, at least some of them are fertile, for I have made a few hybrids using them as parents."

We collected E. whitei on the outskirts of La Paz (Kimnach et al. 2480) and again some 200 miles to the southeast, near Cochabamba (2787). Both populations had narrow, red-margined leaves and were nearly identical in flower. The form aff. bakeri found by Arandia grows within 25 miles of the latter population of E. whitei.

Echeveria bakeri is easily grown but exceed­ingly slow to propagate; it seldom onsets and is difficult to increase by leaves and bracts. It is hoped that the type collection will eventually be distributed by International Succulent Introduc­tions.


I wish to thank Reid Moran for his helpful sugges­tions and corrections.


Van Keppel, J. 1969. Two new echeverias from Bo­livia. Nat. Cact. Succ. Journ. (Gr. Brit.) 24: 90-91.

———. 1972. Some notes on South American ech­everias. Cact. Succ. Journ. (USA) 44: 55-61.

Walther, E. 1972. Echeveria. San Francisco, Califor­nia.

© Cactus & Succulent Journal of America, 1991