# # # SPECIAL PLANT # # # (Selected specimen)
Origin: Mexico (Chihuahua)
Habitat: Grows mostly on rocky and gravely slopes in a very dry deserts environment. The plants grow solitary or in spreading clumps.
E. polycephalus complex:
| Description: Globose depressed or shortly cylindrical, remarkably similar in morphology to E. polycephalus but distinct by the manner of growth and whiter spines. This Echinocactus is usually solitary but can branches spontaneously under normal conditions. |
Stem: Glabrous, greyish-green, 20 to 30 cm high and 25 to 40 cm. in diameter (but typically under 35 cm in diameter)
Areoles: Roundish, with abundant greyish wool.
Ribs: Approx 13, acute. The juvenile Echinocactus looks quite different from the mature specimens. In fact, as with other Echinocactus and Ferocactus seedlings, the rib structure is not yet completely apparent, and they have pronounced tubercles making them look superficially like Mammillarias.
Spines: Dense, stout, angled, and ringed, chalky white to greyish-pink that turn a darker (redder) colouring when sprinkled with water. The spines almost obscure the plant bodies and restrict the small yellow flowers from opening fully.
Flowers: Yellow. They appear in summer.
Cultivation: Relatively difficult to grow on their own roots as they are root rot sensitive in cultivation, especially after planting. Slow-growing and very long-lived. Plants grown from seed begin to branch at nearly 20 years of age. Hardy to -12°C, it needs full sun, and good ventilation.
Propagation: Seed or grafting. The seeds germinate with extreme difficulty and a low rate of success. Seedlings did not do well either, and some die each year.