Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cactus Notes

No need to read. These are merely some cultivation notes concerning the cacti I own I wanted to archive. For a good ol' cactus time, go here.

Cleistocactus tupizensis (pics)
Cleistocactus tupizensis is a slender columnar cactus with silvery fine spines interspersed amongst 2" long reddish or goldish spines, creating a frosted appearance. Profuse tubular, reddish orange flowers appear in spring, much to the delight of hummingbirds. Native habitat Bolivia. Requires bright light or full sun. Porous soil with adequate drainage. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Echinocactus grusonii "Golden Barrel Cactus" (pics)
Echinocactus grusonii, or more popularly known as the "Golden Barrel", is a very beautiful and fast-growing member the "barrel cacti" family, which includes both Echinocactus and closely related Ferocacti. This plant can be a very dramatic facet of landscaping with its dense golden spines and rugged tolerance of full sun, heat, drought and even some frost. Can grow to 36" in diameter and height in 20 years. Will offset with age, producing beautiful clumps. Yellow flowers appear at the crown, usually in summer. Native habitat is Mexico, but is becoming extinct in habitat due to development of land. Prefers extra drainage in soil mix, as can be attained with the addition of extra perlite or pumice. Bright light to full sun. Can be grown in a container on a warm, bright patio or in full sun in a garden landscape. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Can tolerate temperatures below freezing for brief periods, but is best to protect from frost to prevent scarring.

Ferocactus latispinus (pics)
Ferocactus latispinus is a barrel cactus with more of a flattened, or depressed globular shape than many of the other species of Ferocacti. The central spines are flattened and wide, giving the plant a "gnarly" look. Flowers are violet or yellow, usually appearing in late October and November. Requires a porous cactus soil with additional drainage as can be supplied by perlite and pumice. Bright light to full sun. Can be planted out in the garden for landscaping or used as a patio plant. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Mammillaria hahniana "Old Lady Cactus" (pics)
Mammillaria hahniana, native to Mexico, forms globular stems to 6" or more in diameter. Stems are densely covered with white hair, and short white spines. Concentric rings of dark pink flowers appear amidst the white hairs, creating a dramatic contrast. Easy to grow. Porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Bright light with ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Neoraimondia (Neocardenasia) herzogiana (pics)
Neocardenasia herzogiana, native to Bolivia, is a columnar cactus with shiny green stems with long, stiff cinnamon spines arising from cream-colored areoles. Neocardenasia has some of the longest spines known to exist amongst the cacti. Grows to a much-branched arborescent specimen in time. Can grow to 20' or more in native habitat of xeric Bolivian forests at altitudes of 4000'. Porous soil with adequate drainage. Bright light to full sun. Water thoroughly when soil is dry during active growing season. Protect from frost to prevent scarring.

Opuntia "Perita" = Opuntia fragilis (?, pics)
Opuntia 'Perita' forms low-growing stems densely covered with white spines. Porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Bright light with ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

Opuntia humifusa "Eastern Prickly Pear " (pics)

Oreocereus trollii "Old Man of the Andes" (pics)
Oreocereus trollii, native to mountains of South America, forms clumping clusters of chunky columns to 2' in height. Columnar stems are densely covered in white wool (actually white radial spines that have evolved to resemble "hairs"), that totally obscures body of plant. Some bright red spines are visible above the wool . Flowers are violet red and semi-tubular in shape. Bright light for best appearance. In cultivation, Oreocereus requires bright light to produce dense hairs, but, as a former mountain dweller, does not care for extremely high temperatures. Prefers porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Bright light to full sun with ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry. Do not overwater during cold winter months. Preferable not to water on overcast days, humid days or cold winter days. Hardy to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but best to protect from frost to prevent possible scarring.

Parodia herzogii (pics)
Parodia herzogii, native to Argentina, is a beautiful globular cactus with dense butterscotch spines. These spines are unusual as they are long, and very softly flexible. Beautiful large orange flowers during spring months. Grows to 8" or more in diameter and looks like a butterscotch sphere. Recently, the genus Notocactus has undergone nomenclatural changes, and as a result, all Notocactus are now included in the genus Parodia. At this time, it is believed that Notocactus and Parodias have sufficiently similar characteristics that they should be placed in one all-encompassing genus. Parodias are best wintered above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Roots tend to die at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the plant loses much time and energy attempting to reconstruct a healthy root system in the spring. Bright light with ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch during active growing season. Less water in cooler winter months. Plant in a porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Protect from frost.

Trichocereus (Helianthocereus) grandiflorus now Echinopsis huascha (pics)
Trichocereus (Helianthocereus) grandiflorus, native to Argentina, forms clusters of stems to 15" in height with beautiful clear red flowers to 4". Over the years, many hybrids of been developed in cultivation, resulting in flowers of nearly all the colors of the rainbow. Colors now includes yellow, gold, white, pink, light pink with rose midstripes, orange, red, and purples. Some flowers are actually bi-colored. In a some cases, flower size has increased to 9" in diameter, rivalling some of the Epiphyllums or "Orchid Cactus". Through hybridization, the actual appearance of the plant as changed as well. The stems of the type species are somewhat slender, and sometimes become a bit prostrate. Many newer hybrids have thick, cylindrical bodies to 10" in diameter, with offsets forming specimens that span several feet in diameter. This can be quite an awesome sight, with large, brilliant flowers open on each stem! Porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Bright light. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Protect from frost.

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