Cold hardy cacti and other exotics- cactusi rezistenti la frig

Fabian Vanghele's hardy exotics Blog

Hardy cacti, succulents and others in Bucharest, Romania

I am Fabian Vincentiu Vanghele, born in 1973, ecologist, living in the southern end of Bucharest.

Ethnic, I am an Aromanian- or Makedonian, Makedo-Romanian- all that meaning a single thing: the Romanians from south of Danube. We all Romanians descend from the great people of Thrakians ("the second numerous people after the Indians"- as the Greek Herodot, the "father of history", said), which lived on a large territory from south of actual Poland all the way south to Central Greece, from the "beginnings of time", long before being latinised  2000 years ago.

 Finishing my short, proud presentation, back to plants. If I remember how all beginned, I keep in my mind a really cute plastic cactus in a plastic pot, not more than 5 cm, when 3-4 years old. I liked it. Then the great passion dissapeared in the favour of guns, destroying electric toys to see what's up inside, crocodiles, snakes and other boy things. Later, from 12 years old an aquarist, then a palmtrees lover. Both fish and palmtrees have disavantages: fish needed almost constant presence and palmtrees (I had only some datepalms grown from seeds...) will grow large and decided not to keep something that will become a tall proud tree in an poor appartament. Fish appeared sporadically in my life, and from the last winter, I intent to keep some from now on. Of course, winterhardy species Laughing.

Then I saw the cacti with other eyes the first time: flowers, spines, shapes etc! And not so dependent of a human presence and care! At 15 years I started, and at 20, after finding about them growing up to Canada and down to Patagonia, I was fascinated and looked for. The real tough and independent ones! Well, at least less concern about cold... but I put a lot of passion of youth into them!

I received the first ones, Opuntia fragilis and O. humifusa from Dr. Visinescu, the oldest and most reputed cactus collector at that time, one of the pioneers of the hobby here. They thrived and surprised me after the first hard winter.

 Next it was a weird plant from Prof. Dobrota, another "elder" of this field;  now it's weird, because I saw it's not like any plant but has more in common with cymochila then with others. This plant is a really special one, since prof. Dobrota received it longtime ago from the even older cactus pioneer Vida Geza (he was also a known sculptor). That plant should be a very old clone in Europe. 

 Then first order, the Internet and contact with a whole world of hobbysts and specialists. At that time, I was already focused on hardy species, beginning with the most hardy ones; in the '90 years I had the opportunity to read "Winterharte Kakteen" by Fritz Kuemmel/Konrad Kluegling (well, in a way, more intuition between few German words, but the result being quite correctSmile) and so, when seeing a catalogue, checked the most cold/wet location available for every species; so the "location-germ" got me early- many friends didn't understand me first, but now they too collect more locations for the same species -not necessarely hardy species- and take great care to keep the infos accurate- they know themselvesLaughing!

There is much to tell, but there are forums with many experienced people which discuss and exchange informations. I will describe only the worse winter they indured here:

after 3 dry years (2000-2002) the drought ended in August 2002 with warm rains which gave the plants an impulse to grow and fill with water. The autumn was humid  and warm enough. Until mid-December barely a single frost, but not even the Ricinus plants were damaged. And then, after a day with 8 deg C, a cold wind started in the evening and at 8 AM next morning were already -14 C!!! It was a quite horrible trip to do from work to home, wearing mild weather clothes. Then rain, snow, cold, thaw, freeze- to -27 near Bucharest, where I kept my plants. In the spring, I discovered some loses in the most fragile non-Opuntia plants. Looking around  at one of the places where I kept the plants (in the ground) I saw a small hillside planted with grape-vines, which looked weird: being seen from 500m, half of it was green, but half has the ground colour- the vines planted on that area were dead and no growth till May, so dead for sure, even the roots! Some cacti had some minor damage (at the tips, only to marginal-hardy Cylindropuntia as leptocaulis and kleiniae), but the rest were bone-hard!

Years before that, the winters 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 were very harsh, especially the first one- it beginned  somewhere in October and lasts till next April, with a little snowfall as late as Easter! Months of extended freeze, lacking the usually thawing windows, which normally occur one to few weeks after the cold blasts. The first serious thaw was in mid-February, before cold returns again. Temperature dropped that winter under -25 for sure, but I don't know how low.

The 1996-1997 was not so cold as average (maybe wrong, but I remember so- I was in the army and being quite acclimated with tough conditions, possible in error when appreciate that), but under -25C occured again. Maybe in terms of lowest temeratures that one was the harshest, but the first was quite remarcable- "the six months winter". It was not a very hard couple of winters for my plants, having at that time only the most hardy ones, which handled with those conditions easily .

Then I started to grow some more southern species and kept them with better protection. And so, less and less hardy till I had too many for my possibilities. Recently, I decided to restrain myself- no time, money and room for more plants, even for the ones I have. I will thin out my collection, keeping only hardy plants. But I will always love all of them and remember the good old times!

Old Opuntia cymochila clone (from prof. Dobrota) experiment- for all the "friends of the defeated and lost (?) causes"

It was the first/most abused species of mine, being the first I had many individuals from, and exposed it to all aggresions: cold, wet, shade, heavy soil, only sand, overheating etc. and survived undamaged to all.
I also planted a number of their seedlings in a very poor, heavy and thin layer of soil in a remote place in Bucharest (I call it "The Crater"), and checked it regularly. In the 4-th year, they still struggle, surviving floods and drought, and already becoming visible, with larger pads. The only reliable companion there is a dwarf Artemisia species, any other weed finding those patches too difficult.

Looking at them, in the silence of that place, I can say that those are plants with "spirit"- rugged, independent, integrated and subtle accorded with their environment. Mines, at home, are beautiful and strong growing, with lots of flowers, but lacking this feeling when looking at them. There in The Crater they are like native Americans in their confined reservations: not giving up dignity and humanity even under the worse conditions. Enduring in silence all that it is. They grow slow, but implacable. The spines are only for the most daring and aggresive intruder, not for the beings sharing the same spirit. They are a symbol of the threatened equilibre- at human and other levels- fighting without violence, only by patience and determination to endure, with no compromises.

When last visit there, a skinny stray dog watched the cactus patch- strange, since no humans there and so, no food source. The place was left even by the few nomadic Gypsies which builted a temporary dwelling there. Maybe he lives on rodents and lizards only, but it seemed not willing to live the place. Another symbol- when it will go too, it will be the end...The end there is maybe the real estate interest for that wide space- rumours heard about a hippodrome, a casino and others in plans.The swampy nature of most of that place hopefully will stop any action there.
The dog stayed a little further till we left, and than returned. I looked at it and named it "The Coyote Spirit", a brave defender this time, not the oldest of tricksters anymore... but who knows??

Plants in my collection


Some species as ursina, nicholii, basilaris, arenaria etc., cactoids and Agave are protected against moisture, since I have only small plants. The plants from drier/warmer locations are first let to grow and try their full hardiness with cuttings.  It's always safe to  have back-up plants and don't risk with all the plants exposed. Some will never be moisture tolerant, they are true xerophyles. Don't expect full hardiness or be surprised if excess humidity kills them.


  1. Cylindropuntia imbricata Stanton County, Kansas
  2. Cylindropuntia imbricata Delhi, Otero Co., Colorado
  3. Cylindropuntia imbricata El Paso Co., Colorado
  4. Cylindropuntia imbricata Fremont Co., Colorado
  5. Cylindropuntia imbricata Canyon City, Fremont Co., Colorado- lower, bushier, white flowers!
  6. Cylindropuntia whipplei Archuleta Co., Colorado
  7. Cylindropuntia whipplei Kaibab Plateau, Arizona
  8. Cylindropuntia whipplei Hamlyn Valley+ Indian Peak, Utah (mixed by mistake)
  9. Cylindropuntia whipplei Snowflake, Arizona
  10. Cylindropuntia whipplei Show Low, Arizona
  11. Cylindropuntia whipplei Pipe Springs, Arizona
  12. Cylindropuntia whipplei La Boca Ranch, Colorado
  13. Cylindropuntia whipplei Keams Canyon, Arizona
  14. Cylindropuntia whipplei x imbricata Querino Wash, AZ- peach-coppery flowered, natural hybrids!
  15. Cylindropuntia kleiniae Valencia Co., New Mexico
  16. Cylindropuntia kleiniae Otero Co., New Mexico
  17. Cylindropuntia leptocaulis Ladrone Mts., New Mexico
  18. Cylindropuntia leptocaulis yellow spines, hardy only to -18C/0F
  19. Cylindropuntia x  viridiflora Santa Fe Co., New Mexico
  20. Cylindropuntia x davisii, Chavez Co., New Mexico
  21. Grusonia clavata Albuquerque, New Mexico
  22. Opuntia arenaria El Paso Co., Texas
  23. Opuntia arenaria Vado, New Mexico
  24. Opuntia arenaria Dona Ana Co., New Mexico
  25. Opuntia aurea Springdale, Utah
  26. Opuntia aurea white (Hochstaetter)
  27. Opuntia basilaris Silver Peak, Nevada
  28. Opuntia basilaris Tonopah, Nevada
  29. Opuntia basilaris v. heilii Wayne Co., Utah
  30. Opuntia basilaris v. brachyclada San Gabriel Mts., California
  31. Opuntia camanchica Bernalillo Co., New Mexico
  32. Opuntia compressa Lone Rock, Wisconsin
  33. Opuntia compressa Berrien Co., Michigan
  34. Opuntia compressa reddish pads, golden flower, more glochids than any!
  35. Opuntia cymochila Keith Co., Nebraska
  36. Opuntia cymochila Larimer Co., Colorado
  37. Opuntia cymochila green-yellow pads, brown spines (Dobrota)
  38. Opuntia engelmannii Grand Canyon, Arizona
  39. Opuntia fragilis Gunnison Co., Colorado
  40. Opuntia fragilis Peace River, British Columbia, Canada- northernmost cactus!
  41. Opuntia fragilis Wyoming
  42. Opuntia fragilis Lake of The Woods, Ontario, Canada
  43. Opuntia fragilis Kaladar, Ontario, Canada- easternmost fragilis!
  44. Opuntia fragilis Cache Creek, British Columbia, Canada
  45. Opuntia fragilis Deuel Co., Nebraska
  46. Opuntia fragilis Dunn Co., Wisconsin
  47. Opuntia fragilis Hot Springs, South Dakota
  48. Opuntia fragilis Chelan Co., Washington
    Opuntia fragilis Boulder Mts., Tooele Co., Utah 2300m
    Opuntia fragilis Torrey, Utah
  49. Opuntia fragilis dark pads, brown spines (Visinescu)
  50. Opuntia fragilis light-green pads, yellow spines
  51. Opuntia fragilis v. brachyarthra Whitewater, Colorado
    Opuntia fragilis v. brachyarthra 
  52. Opuntia fragilis "Brooksii" Kansas
    Opuntia fragilis Torrey, Utah, spineless- rather the new O. debreczyi
  53. Opuntia fragilis "denudata"- rather the new O. debreczyi
  54. Opuntia fragilis "inermis"- rather the new O. debreczyi
  55. Opuntia fragilis x... "Bronze Beauty"- rather the new O. debreczyi
  56. Opuntia fragilis x... nice dwarf, few small spines- rather the new O. debreczyi
  57. Opuntia x columbiana Stemilt Mill Pond, Washington
    Opuntia x columbiana Yakima, Washington
  58. Opuntia x columbiana Wenatchee, Washington
  59. Opuntia x columbiana Wishram, Washington
  60. Opuntia x columbiana Malaga, Washington, fat
  61. Opuntia x columbiana Keremeos, British Columbia, Canada
  62. Opuntia hystricina San Juan County, New Mexico
  63. Opuntia hystricina Belen, New Mexico
  64. Opuntia hystricina w- Bernalillo, New Mexico
    Opuntia hystricina Holbrook, Arizona
  65. Opuntia ursina Little Colorado River, Arizona
  66. Opuntia ursina St. George, Utah
  67. Opuntia ursina Beaver Dam Mts., Utah
  68. Opuntia ursina Inyo Co., California 2073m
  69. Opuntia humifusa Monmouth Co., New Jersey
  70. Opuntia humifusa Franklin County, North Carolina
  71. Opuntia humifusa New Jersey very variable
  72. Opuntia humifusa New Jersey spiny
  73. Opuntia humifusa Dale Hollow, Kentucky
  74. Opuntia humifusa Benton, Tennessee
  75. Opuntia humifusa Ozarks, Missouri
  76. Opuntia humifusa v. robustior Shennandoah Valley, Virginia
  77. Opuntia humifusa v. rafinesquiana north Arkansas, weird, floriferous
  78. Opuntia humifusa intense yellow flower, red center (Visinescu)
  79. Opuntia mackensenii Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma
  80. Opuntia mackensenii Wichita Mts., Oklahoma
  81. Opuntia mackensenii Reagan Co., Texas undamaged at -18C/0F
  82. Opuntia macrocentra hardy and good flowering 
  83. Opuntia macrorhiza Montgomery Co., Kansas
  84. Opuntia macrorhiza Berthoud, Colorado
  85. Opuntia macrorhiza Jackson Lake, Colorado
  86. Opuntia macrorhiza Ft. Collins, Colorado
  87. Opuntia macrorhiza Sedgwick Co., Colorado
  88. Opuntia macrorhiza Texarkana, Arkansas
  89. Opuntia macrorhiza Stafford Co., Kansas (in fact is a "compressa"-type)
  90. Opuntia macrorhiza Black Mesa, Cimarron Co., Oklahoma red and yl. fls
  91. Opuntia macrorhiza Stafford Co., Kansas, red flowers, short white spines
  92. Opuntia macrorhiza v. riograndensis Valencia Co., New Mexico
  93. Opuntia orbiculata Seymour, Baylor Co., Texas
  94. Opuntia pottsii Prescott, Arizona
  95. Opuntia pottsii v. nova Albuquerque, New Mexico
  96. Opuntia pottsii v. montana Cuba, New Mexico
  97. Opuntia pottsii v. montana Manzano Mts., New Mexico
  98. Opuntia phaeacantha Belen, New Mexico
  99. Opuntia phaeacantha Larimer Co., Colorado, northernmost!
  100. Opuntia phaecantha Fremont Co., Colorado, 2 feet tall
  101. Opuntia phaeacantha Kaibab Plateau, Arizona 2000m
  102. Opuntia phaeacantha v. albispina
  103. Opuntia phaeacantha v. major Albuquerque, New Mexico
  104. Opuntia polyacantha Uintah Co., Utah 1616m
  105. Opuntia polyacantha Madison Co., Montana 1600m
  106. Opuntia polyacantha Stafford Co., Kansas, large pads, white spines
  107. Opuntia polyacantha Powell, Wyoming
  108. Opuntia polyacantha Keith Co., Nebraska
  109. Opuntia polyacantha s- Julesberg magenta flowers
  110. Opuntia polyacantha (heacockiae) Chaffee Co., Colorado 2530m, dwarf
  111. Opuntia polyacantha v. rufispina Lost River, Idaho, pink flowers
  112. Opuntia polyacantha (erinacea v. utahensis) pink fl, thick pads, few, thick white spines
  113. Opuntia polyacantha few spines, large pads, variable, "aurea"-type
  114. Opuntia polyacantha v. schweriniana Cuba, New Mexico
  115. Opuntia polyacantha v. juniperina Bloomfield, New Mexico
  116. Opuntia polyacantha v. juniperina Trout Creek Pass, Colorado
  117. Opuntia pinkavae Hanksville, Utah
  118. Opuntia pinkavae Torrey, Utah
  119. Opuntia pinkavae Hwy 95, Utah
  120. Opuntia pinkavae Saint George, Utah
  121. Opuntia kaibabensis House Rock Valley, Arizona
  122. Opuntia erinacea Wayne Co., Utah 2073m
  123. Opuntia rhodantha Cassia Co., Idaho purple flowers
  124. Opuntia rhodantha Cleveland, Utah
  125. Opuntia nicholii Marble Canyon, Arizona
  126. Opuntia rutila- now "large form" of O. debreczyi, pink fl.
    Opuntia rutila DJF1498 Comb Ridge, Utah- now "large form" of O. debreczyi, pink-yl. fl.
    Opuntia pusilla-drummondii small pads/flowers
  127. Opuntia pusilla Georgia 
  128. Opuntia tortispina Bernalillo, New Mexico
  129. Opuntia tortispina Albuquerque, New Mexico
  130. Opuntia tortispina Belen, New Mexico
  131. Opuntia trichophora Blanding, Utah
  132. Opuntia trichophora v. nova Roswell, New Mexico
  133. Opuntia trichophora v. nova Orogrande, New Mexico
  134. Echinocereus coccineus- all next locations to be added later
  135. Echinocereus coccineus
  136. Echinocereus engelmannii Flagstaff, Arizona
  137. Echinocereus engelmannii
  138. Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi MG 250.6 shaggy spines, frilled flower
  139. Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi Apache, Caddo Co., Oklahoma
  140. Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi DJF 1327 Medecine Park, Oklahoma
  141. Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi DJF 1308 Granite, Oklahoma, shaggy spines
  142. Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi SB 211 Kiowa Co., Oklahoma, rust-pink spines
  143. Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi Lawton, Comanche Co., Oklahoma, pink spines
  144. Echinocereus reichenbachii caespitosus Johnston Co., Oklahoma, white spines
  145. Echinocereus reichenbachii caespitosus Tishomingo, Oklahoma
  146. Echinocereus reichenbachii caespitosus Murray Co., Oklahoma
  147. Echinocereus reichenbachii caespitosus 'albispinus' Troy, Oklahoma
  148. Echinocereus reichenbachii perbellus Major Co., Oklahoma, black tipped spines
  149. Echinocereus reichenbachii perbellus SB 2009 Beckham Co., Oklahoma, 'black lace'
  150. Echinocereus reichenbachii perbellus SB 2008 Woods Co., Oklahoma
  151. Echinocereus reichenbachii perbellus DJF 971.5 Pueblo Co., Colorado
  152. Echinocereus reichenbachii 
  153. Echinocereus triglochidiatus 
  154. Echinocereus triglochidiatus
  155. Echinocereus triglochidiatus
  156. Echinocereus triglochidiatus
  157. Echinocereus triglochidiatus
  158. Echinocereus triglochidiatus
  159. Echinocereus triglochidiatus
  160. Echinocereus viridiflorus Mix: Larimer+Weld Co., Colorado+ Chaffee Co., Wyoming
  161. Echinocereus viridiflorus s- Hot Springs, South Dakota
  162. Escobaria missouriensis 
  163. Escobaria missouriensis
  164. Escobaria missouriensis
  165. Escobaria missouriensis
  166. Escobaria missouriensis
  167. Escobaria missouriensis
  168. Escobaria missouriensis
  169. Escobaria missouriensis
  170. Escobaria missouriensis
  171. Escobaria missouriensis
  172. Escobaria missouriensis
  173. Escobaria missouriensis
  174. Escobaria vivipara
  175. Escobaria vivipara
  176. Escobaria vivipara
  177. Escobaria vivipara
  178. Escobaria vivipara
  179. Escobaria vivipara
  180. Escobaria vivipara
  181. Escobaria vivipara
  182. Escobaria vivipara
  183. Escobaria vivipara
  184. Yucca arkansana Loess Hills, Iowa
  185. Yucca arkansana Waubonsie, Iowa
  186. Yucca arkansana Missouri River, Missouri
  187. Yucca arkansana Rockport, Missouri
  188. Yucca arkansana Moud City, Missouri
  189. Yucca baccata Rio Rancho, New  Mexico
  190. Yucca baccata Mora Co., New Mexico 2134m
  191. Yucca elata Union Co., New Mexico
  192. Yucca elata Pedernal Mts., New Mexico
  193. Yucca elata Aztec Peak, Arizona 1800m
  194. Yucca elata v. verdiensis Corduroy Creek, Arizona 2000m
  195. Yucca faxoniana x glauca Albuquerque hybrid
  196. Yucca flaccida Beltzville Lake, Pennsylvannia
  197. Yucca aff. flaccida Pocono Mts., Pennsylvannia
  198. Yucca aff. flaccida Palmerton, Pennsylvannia
  199. Yucca glauca Belle Fourche, South Dakota
  200. Yucca glauca Smithwick, South Dakota
  201. Yucca glauca v. stricta Dodge City, Kansas 950m
  202. Yucca glauca v. stricta Elkhart, Kansas 1215m
  203. Yucca glauca v. stricta Old Santa Fe Trail, Oklahoma 1250m
  204. Yucca glauca v. stricta Felt, Oklahoma 1100m
  205. Yucca glauca v. stricta Beaver River, Oklahoma 1.200m
  206. Yucca glauca v. stricta Boise City,Oklahoma 1.300m
  207. Yucca glauca v. stricta Greenville area, New Mexico 1.850m
  208. Yucca glauca v. stricta Carrizo Creek, New Mexico 1.850m
  209. Yucca glauca v. stricta Springer, New Mexico 1.900m
  210. Yucca nana San Juan Co., Utah 2012m
  211. Yucca nana Utah 2020m
  212. Yucca nana Muddy Creek, Utah
  213. Yucca nana Canyon Wash, Utah 1600m
  214. Yucca aff. nana Utah
  215. Yucca neomexicana Cimarron Co., Oklahoma 1100m
  216. Yucca harrimaniae x nana? miniatur broad leaves Antelope Creek, Utah  
  217. Yucca recurvifolia fast grower, trunkforming
  218. Yucca gloriosa blueish leaves
  219. Yucca gloriosa variegata    
  220. Agave macroculmis Conception del Oro 3000m, huge, hardy 
  221. Delosperma cooperii Orange Free State, South Africa
  222. Delosperma deleeuwiae Lesotho 3125m
  223. Portulaca mundula Tulsa, Oklahoma
  224. Phemeranthus confertiflorus, Williams, Arizona 2000m
  225. Phemeranthus teretifolius
  226. Phemeranthus sediforme v. okanoganense Oregon-Washington-British Columbia, white flower
  227. Talinum brevifolium San Juan Co., Utah 1350m pink flower
  228. Talinum brachypodium similar to P. brevifolium

The list is not complete, many cacti still not added on it. That will be done someday Laughing...

The palm bug- an old one- made me start a collection again; these are the seedlings:

1. Rhapidophyllum hystrix Georgia
2. Sabal minor RPS
3. Sabal "Louisiana" Louisiana coast
4. Sabal minor Warren, Arkansas
5. Sabal minor McCurtain Co., Oklahoma
6. Sabal minor Carthage, Texas
7. Sabal minor Monroe, Louisiana
8. Trachycarpus fortunei
9. Trachycarpus fortunei Darjeeling
10. Trachycarpus "Nainital"
11. Trachycarpus wagnerianus Japan
12. Chamaerops humilis Italia
13. Chamaerops humilis v. argentea/cerifera Atlas Mts., Marocco
14. Nannorrhops arabica "Silver" south Iran/Pakistan
15. Nannorrhops ritchieana Kashmir (near Muzzafarrabad), Pakistan 

I don't know how much protection will need those palms- because they will surely need that in Romania- but I know some over 34 years old Trachycarpus fortunei in Bucharest, in very protected microclimate, the palms themselves being never protected. Some- the tallest- died in the "legendary" killer winter 2002-2003.
Nannorrhops are very controversed; the "Silver" form is, without doubt, not for outdoor plantings, but the Kashmir one having potential as long being kept as an exigent xerophyle in winter.
Chamaerops could be similar in requirements about dry winter conditions and no prolonged freezes.
The most reliable ones should be, as usual, Sabal minor and Rhapidophyllum hystrix.
With the exception of Trachycarpus, all the species can benefit from being grown in hot microclimates and even in foil tunnels, as those for vegetables- that summer inferno is perfect for fast growth, if water is provided, especially for Sabal and Rhapidophyllum- moist habitat species. Also, the tunnels will keep the soil drier in winter, keeping chilling winds away, a plus in temperature, but lacks the protective snow cover wich can be useful sometimes.
I will try to grow more Sabal minor locations and test their hardiness, since it is one of the hardiest palms and seeds easy to find from more locations- thanks to American palm-loving fellows Wink


Available plants

  If you are interested, some Opuntia cuttings are available at the moment. I would like to swap if you have something of interest for me- hardy things, not tender ones.

Using the link below you will see a just started photo album- the last one was full of wild looking Opuntia, but that service was closed. The garden was destroyed in april 2007 Cry, but I took my plants into my own (weedy...) yard. They still recover to reach their former habit, but pictures will be added from now on.

Some other things I like

Other interests of mine are other hardy exotics like palmtrees, Musa species, Poncirus, Diospyros, Ziziphus, Olea etc; coldhardy exotic fish like Macropodus ocellatus, M. opercularis, Fundulus and Aphanius species, viviparous species. I look for wildtypes but in the trade there are many weird things and I choose the nicest ones when possible. I hope to receive some really hardy M. ocellatus!

Also hardy exotic reptiles- I was dreaming to have  a pair of Alligator sinensis and to breed them here; Chelydra serpentina, Macroclemys temminckii, Trionyx spinifer, other small turtles; Phrynosoma (blood-spraying horned-lizards) and many other crazy things! Of course, I am a conservationist and I have -within my physical, financial and time limits, which put me on an amateur level- to care for what is endangered here, and here is a lot of work to be done.

Sometimes I receive and rehome the invasive Trachemys scripta elegans/troostii, occasionally some Emys that I fed, hibernate and release each spring. I have a few Testudo horsfieldi (ssp. kazakhstanica?)- they like it hot and dry, and appreciate a good winter sleep- quite like hardy cacti. I am interested in helping the native Eurotestudo boettgeri and Testudo ibera.

Leopard Gecko- Eublepharis macularius Mix: I have a group of another funny and wonderful little creatures, like smiling tiny dragons!

I am a "location freak" but in such cases, of a really hardy and nice plant or  animal (the fish are accessible, chinese alligator don'tLaughingLaughing) I will be happy to have it, even without location.

Water creatures:

Poecilia wingei- Endler's Livebearer- Laguna de Los Patos, North Lake- Original Type Black Bar- I keep them pure, colony bred!
Heterandria formosa- South Florida, Golden form (selection)
Poecilia reticulata- wild type, unfairly called "feeders"
Poecilia reticulata- strong wonderful mix of various strains
Alfaro cultratus
Ameca splendens
Xenotoca eiseni
Macropodus opercularis- reasonable hardy; wildtype
Carassius auratus selected
Tanichthys albonubes- reasonably hardy; wildtype
Ancistrus dolichopterus- cleaning crew
Betta splendens- troublemaker
Corydoras paleatus- reasonably hardy

Spontane herpetofauna in my yard:

Lacerta agilis
Bufo viridis
Hyla arborea
Pelobates fuscus                                                                                                                                  Natrix natrix (just passing)

I like black teas and yerba mate, bier or wine (depending on the weatherWink) when, with family and friends, we enjoy the plants, fish, cats, lizards and frogs in my yard.

CONTACT: fabian_vanghele"at" (please replace "at" with @)


For the Czech (?) gentleman who sent me his Opuntia /Delosperma/Sedum list, has some plants from the Richter family and wanted some of my Opuntia:

I mistakenly deleted your post, possibly maybe worse- putting it on the UNSUBSCRIBE list Yell!!! Please write me to this address, in case I really send your message to UNSUBSCRIBE folder:

fabian.vanghele"at" (replace "at" with @)