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Ortegocactus macdougallii


Scientific Name

Ortegocactus macdougallii Alexander


Neobesseya macdougallii

Scientific Classification

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


Ortegocactus macdougallii is a small clump-forming cactus with greenish-gray stems that slowly grow up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The stems have rhomboid tubercles, one central spine, and 7 to 8 radial spines per areole. The spines are black or whitish with a black tip and 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. Flowers are yellow, funnel-shaped, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Fruits are reddish, spherical, slightly extended, and up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter.


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

How to Grow and Care

Like so many of the small species of Mexican cacti, Ortegocactus is highly prized by collectors. Ortegocactus macdougallii likes light shade to full sun. It is often grafted since it is tricky to grow when on its own roots. Water moderately in summer and very carefully if at all in winter. It shows a distinct intolerance to overwatering either by rotting off or by bursting of the epidermis. Grow Ortegocactus in a fast-draining mineral mix. To prevent growing a monster totally out of proportion to its attractive and natural form, you should limit the fertilizer.

Many authors recommend grafting, first on Pereskiopsis and soon on Myrtillocactus geometrizans. If it does not reject the stock, it is possible to be cultivated without problems. See more at How to Grow and Care for Ortegocactus.


Native to Mexico (Oaxaca).


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