Eriosyce islayensis v. copiapoides (Syn: Islaya copiapoides)

Eriosyce islayensis v. copiapoides (Syn: Islaya copiapoides)

Eriosyce islayensis v. copiapoides (Syn: Islaya copiapoides)

Semenzali di 5 anni . Pianta con grossi fusti e spine robuste simile ad una Copiapoa.
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Semenzali di 5 anni .
Pianta con grossi fusti e spine robuste simile ad una Copiapoa.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Islaya copiapoides Rauh & Backeb.

Accepted scientific Name: Eriosyce islayensis (Foster) Katt. 1994

Origin: E. islayensis is endemic to the northern Chile along the coast, to southern Peru (just south of Lima).
The var. copiapoides is found along the coast in the middle of Islaya territory. 

Habitat: Grows in very dry desert areas where it almost never rains and where only the occasional sea fog drift inland.

Etymology: The genus name "islayensis" derives for the occurrence in the Province of Islay, Department Arequipa, Peru. The variety name "copiapoides " comes from the resemblance of this plant to some copiapoas.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:  

  • Echinocactus islayensis C.F.Först. 1861
    In: Hamb. Gartenz. 17:160. 1861 (Basyonym)
  • Islaya islayensis (Först) Backeberg 1934
  • Neoporteria islayensis (C.F.Först.) Donald & G.D.Rowley 1966


Islaya copiapoides

This interesting plant has a large stem and strong beautiful spines remembering a Copiapoa, hence the species name.

 

Description: E. islayensis is a small globose to cylindrical cactus with very woolly areoles end dark spreading spines, it is indeed very variable and has received many names, but it is clear from fieldworks that the different wild populations constitute a single but multiform species. The var. copiapoides has fewer spines.
Stems: Grey-green, 5 to 40 cm tall (or more long), 5 to 20 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 19 to 25 low and obtuse.
Areoles: Approximate, large, very woolly, with grey-brown felt
Roots: Fibrous.
Spines: Variable in colour, horn-coloured, brow to shiny black, turning grey as they age.
Central spines: 4 to 7 spreading, thick, 12-16 mm long.
Radial spines: 12 to 22, shorter, radiating, (1-)6-10 mm long.
Flowers: Diurnal, 1,5 - 4 cm long and in diameter, born on younger areoles
from a yellowish woolly crown in summer,  wide funnelform, yellow, outer perianth segments often reddish, floral tube short with tufts of dense wool and long reddish bristles.
Fruit: Characteristic, up to 5 cm long, club shaped, balloon-like, pinkish to red, openings at maturity by basal pores. Pericarp initially fleshy but the interior always dry when mature.
Seeds: Broadly oval.

Cultivation: It is a summer grower species that, like many cacti of the Peruvian deserts, present some problems in cultivation. It is in fact somewhat rot prone if kept in a non ventilated place. Require a very fast draining drying soil, water regularly in summer, but do not overwater.
Needs a full sun exposure (or light shade)  Good heat tolerance. Hardy to at least -5°C ( but probably can tolerate - 10° C for brief periods)
Mature plants imported from the native habitats usually did not take roots.

Propagation: Usually propagated from Seeds. (seldom produces offsets) or by grafting onto a strong grafting stock like Selenicereus sp. Such grafted seedlings can be been successfully cultivated for years.