Matucana madisoniorum (Hutchison) G.D. Rowley
Anhaloniopsis madisoniorum, Borzicactus madisoniorum, Eomatucana madisoniorum, Loxanthocereus madisonorum, Submatucana madisoniorum
Matucana madisoniorum is a small cactus with a blue or grey-green, spherical to elongate, usually solitary stem but may clump with age. The stem grows up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Some specimens have long spines, while others are completely naked. The spineless specimens are often mistaken for Lophophora williamsii.
The attractive flowers are bright orange-red, up to 8 inches (10 cm) long, and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter. The buds start as little white or grey furry balls. This cactus blooms more than once in several flushes throughout the summer.
Matucana madisoniorum is native to Peru. It grows at low altitudes near the edge of the Amazon rainforest.
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. Therefore, watering should be limited to the growing season and only be made when the substrate is completely dry. It must be suspended during the winter. Since they tend to lose their roots in cold and wet, they 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 under optimal environmental conditions (a low moisture content with a 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 mainly composed of sand, lapilli, and gravel. The substrate's quality is very important to encourage the development of a dense network of spines. The soil must be rich in potassium and 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.
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