Echinopsis aurea Britton & Rose
Golden Easter Lily Cactus, Golden Cob
Hymenorebutia aurea, Lobivia aurea, Pseudolobivia aurea, Salpingolobivia aurea, Echinopsis quinensis
Echinopsis aurea is a small cactus with globular to short-cylindrical stems that grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. It usually grows solitary or sometimes with many basal and lateral offshoots. The stems are dark green with 14 to 15 sharp-edged ribs separated by deep grooves. The areoles are brown on young plants. This species appears to be very variable regarding the number, color, and length of the spines. It has 8 to 10 up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long radial spines. The four central spines are much stouter than radial, often flattened, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. Flowers are usually lemon yellow and bright yellow inside but can also be white, pink, or red. They are funnel-shaped, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and appear in late spring and occasionally in summer.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the Echinopsis species without too much trouble. Like many cacti, they prefer a drying period between waterings, even to the point where they slightly wilt. When you water, however, you should water deeply. The plant will noticeably plump. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Echinopsis can be easily rooted from offsets, which tend to cluster around the base of the mother plant. Cut offsets close to the stem, at the narrowest possible place. When rooting cacti from cuttings, let the fresh cutting dry out slightly on a paper towel and cut the cacti at the narrowest place possible. After a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the cut surface, the cut surface should have dried out and formed a callous or slightly rough opening. Once the callous has formed, place the cutting in a rooting mixture of fast-draining cacti soil.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Echinopsis.
This species is native to northern Argentina.
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