Aylostera heliosa (Rausch) Mosti & Papini
Aylostera heliosa, formerly known as Rebutia heliosa, is a small, slow-growing cactus with spherical to short cylindrical stems densely covered in short silvery-white spines arising from brown areoles. The stems can reach up to 1.2 inches (2.5 cm) in diameter and rarely grow taller than 1.4 inches (3.5 cm).
The flowers are diurnal, long-lasting (about ten days), orange to orange-red, emerge from low down on the stems, and appear in such profusion in spring. They are funnel-shaped and measure up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. The fruits are small, globose, and purple-red.
The specific epithet "heliosa (hee-lee-OH-suh)" means "having a mass of suns" and refers to the sun-like appearance of the flowers.
USDA hardiness zone 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the popular Rebutias without too much trouble. Their water and light requirements are pretty typical for many cacti species, including a cooling period in the winter to promote better blooming. Watering should be done carefully, allowing the plant to almost dry out between waterings. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Instead of propagating your offsets, let the plant form a large cluster for the best viewing. When it blooms, this will make a stunning display. Lastly, ensure fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot your Rebutia, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Rebutia.
Aylostera heliosa is native to Bolivia.
Subspecies and Hybrids
- Back to genus Aylostera
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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