Acanthocalycium spiniflorum (K.Schum.) Backeb.
Echinocactus spiniflorus, Acanthocalycium violaceum, Echinopsis spiniflora, Echinopsis violacea, Lobivia spiniflora
Acanthocalycium spiniflorum is a cactus with globular stems that become cylindrical with age. It is usually solitary but may offset at the base. The stems grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. They have 10 to 20 spines per areole. The spines are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, yellowish to brown with dark tips, becoming grey with age.
The flowers are showy, white to pinkish-lilac, erect, funnel-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Overall, these are very attractive cacti for dish gardens or indoor displays. A collection of them is especially attractive, as they look like a collection of balls tossed upon the ground. However, it is critical never to let these cacti be exposed to prolonged periods in water or even very high humidity. They will suffer from rot in the presence of humidity. In addition, Echinocactus are vulnerable to pests, including aphids, mealybugs, scale, and whitefly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat it with the leave toxic option.
It is best to repot at the beginning of the growing season or summer. To repot a cactus, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Echinocactus.
Acanthocalycium spiniflorum is native to Argentina (Cordoba).
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