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Obregonia denegrii (Artichoke Cactus)


Scientific Name

Obregonia denegrii Frič

Common Names

Artichoke Cactus


Ariocarpus denegrii, Strombocactus denegrii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Obregonia


Obregonia denegrii is the only representative of its monospecific genus and is related to Ariocarpus. The stem is solitary, globular-squashed, resembling an inverted pine cone with a woolly center. It is grayish-green to dark green and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Flowers grow between the apex's wool, in the center of the stem on young tubercles. They are white, diurnal, funnel-shaped, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Fleshy edible fruits are white, pear-shaped, and hidden in the wool.

Obregonia denegrii (Artichoke Cactus)

Photo by Plant Valley


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

This slow-growing cactus isn't always the easiest species to cultivate but can enlarge relatively fast when well grown. It is often seen as a grafted plant but grows very well on its roots too.

It needs very well-drained soil with little organic material (peat, humus). Requires full sun to develop good compact growth and watering should be rather infrequent, to keep the plant flat shaped and not become excessively elongated and unnatural in appearance. Use water sparingly from spring to fall and keep perfectly dry in winter or when night temperatures remain below 50 °F (10 °C). It is hardy to 20 °F (-6.7 °C) for a short period; in the rest period no high atmospheric humidity. Ensure good ventilation.

It is propagated almost exclusively by seeds. But the seedlings are tiny and very slow-growing, and at first, they take 1 or 2 years to reach the diameter of 0.2 inches (0.5 cm).


Obregonia denegrii is native to Mexico. It occurs at an altitude of about 1,000 meters above sea level.


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