Matucana haynei (Otto ex Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose
Matucana cereoides, Matucana elongata, Matucana herzogiana, Matucana supertexta, Matucana variabilis
Matucana haynei is a small cactus with a green, spherical, usually solitary stem with tuberculate ribs and densely covered with numerous spines. The stem grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Each areole bears 1 to 20 up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long central spines and 14 to 45 up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long radial spines. They vary in color, ranging from white, pale brown to grey. Flowers are tubular, scarlet red, up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear in spring. The small fruits are spherical to club-shaped and reddish-green.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
All species are sensitive to moisture. Watering should, therefore, be limited to the growing season and should be made only when the substrate is completely dry. It must be suspended during the winter. Since they tend to lose their roots in cold and wet, these plants must be kept warm even in winter. A temperature not under 50 °F (10 °C) is suitable. Some species, for natural adaptation, can resist temperatures below 32°F (0°C).
If the plants are in the vegetative stage and optimal environmental conditions (a low moisture content with substantial temperature swing between day and night is appreciated), the growth is quite fast. You can get blooms already after 2 to 3 years after birth.
Matucana must be grown in very porous and draining soil. It can be composed largely of sand, lapilli, and gravel. To encourage the development of a dense network of the spine, the quality of the nutrients in the substrate is very important. The soil must be rich in potassium poor in nitrogen. Since the roots are very delicate and subject to rot, the soil should be kept as dry as possible. Do not forget that these plants grow in steep and inaccessible places in their natural environment.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Matucana.
This species is native to Peru.
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