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Acanthocalycium spiniflorum

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Scientific Name

Acanthocalycium spiniflorum (K.Schum.) Backeb.

Synonyms

Echinocactus spiniflorus (basionym), Acanthocalycium violaceum, Echinopsis spiniflora, Echinopsis violacea, Lobivia spiniflora

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Acanthocalycium

Description

Acanthocalycium spiniflorum is a globular cactus, becoming cylindrical with age, usually solitary but may offset at its base. The stems are up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. It has 10 to 20 spines. They are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, yellowish to brown, with dark tips and become 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.

Photo via pavko.cz

Hardiness

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 display. A collection of them is especially attractive, as they look like a collection of balls tossed upon the ground. It is critical, however, to never let these cactus be exposed to prolonged periods in water, or even very high humidity. They will suffer from rot in the presence of humidity. Echinocactus are vulnerable to pests including aphids, mealybugs, scale, and white fly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat with the leave toxic option.

It is best to repot in the beginning of the growing season or summer. To repot a cacti, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out 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.

Origin

Acanthocalycium spiniflorum is native to Argentina (Cordoba).

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