Gymnocalycium bruchii (Speg.) Hosseus
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. bruchii, Frailea bruchii, Gymnocalycium albispinum, Gymnocalycium lafaldense, Echinocactus lafaldensis, Gymnocalycium carolinense, Gymnocalycium lafaldense
Gymnocalycium bruchii is a dwarf cactus that forms tufts of many clustering stems that grow up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) tall and up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) in diameter. The stems are flattened, blue-green, with 12 shallow ribs and white to grayish, bristle-like spines. Flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and about the same in diameter. They are in different shades of pink and white and appear in spring.
USDA hardiness zones 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Some Gymnocalyciums are shade-seeking in the wild, among shrubs or grasses, while others grow completely exposed. Therefore, some will need a light shading from the sun in the hottest months, but to overdo, this will result in the loss of flowers.
The potting medium's balance should be sufficient to allow good drainage so that the plants do not sit in soggy soil for more than a day or two after watering.
Watering in the summer months, while the plants are growing well can be frequent (weekly for small plants in small pots), but always allowing the compost nearly to dry out before rewatering. Watering in the winter months at all is unwise and certainly not necessary. The difficult times are spring and autumn.
Those species which produce offsets can be readily propagated by cuttings. Gymnocalycium seed germinates well when fresh and will keep for a few years if stored in cold conditions. See more at How to Grow and Care for Gymnocalycium.
Native to Argentina (Córdoba and San Luis).
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