Acanthocalicium (Lobivia) thionanthum var. copiapoides.
The variety name "copiapoides" means "similar to
copiapoa" and it was
originally applied to a short spined form and with
grey-green epidermis of this very variable taxon, but now - with the the name "A.
thionantum" - the botanist identify a very variable, poliformic complex
of plant (previously classified as separate, species, variety and forms)
with variable colour of flowers and spines sizes.
Description: Usually solitary or slowly
branching through basal shoots, but quite variable taxon with several
There are a number of varieties of this highly variable cactus species,
but not all are universally recognized.
Stem: Spherical, over time it becomes slightly cylindrical,
growing to a height of 12 cm or more, and a diameter of 6 to 10 cm. The
epidermis is green to dark blue grey, and become a clear powdery-grey in
the older part of the stem (like some Copiapoa) The variety "copiapoides"
has comparatively clearer grey-blue epidermis .
Ribs: About 9-15.
Areoles: At the apex of tubercles, at first are covered with
yellowish-brown felt. The flower part of the areola is elongated,
while the upper part curves around the sides of the rib, more or less in
the shape of a small shield. As the tubercles widen in the course of
growth, the areoles become elliptical and almost glabrous.
Spines: 5 to 10 radial spines and 1 to 4 central spines, they are
all more or less of the same length in a given plant (± 0,5 -3 cm.), but
this species appears to be very variable regarding the length colour and
number of spines in different populations.
They are usually black or light
brown at first, becoming grey or whitish-yellow as they age.
Flowers: Bell-shaped, 5 cm. long or less on lateral areoles, and
the segments of the perianth are sulphur or lemon-yellow (but also
white, orange or red), They have very hairy buds, The floral tubes
have brown-white hairs /bristles and dark spine-tipped scales.
The floral tubes have brown-white hairs/bristles
and dark spine-tipped scales.
Spines are usually black or light brown at first,
becoming grey or whitish-yellow as they age.
var. copiapoides Piltz nom. nud.
Origin: Argentina (Salta)
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
- Lobivia thionantha
- Echinopsis thionantha
Note: This sp. is in the genus Echinopsis
now, and its accepted name is Echinopsis
Flowers are yellow.
Cultivation: It is a
summer-growing species that offers no cultivation difficulty. Water
regularly in summer (but do not over-water). It needs good drainage and
very porous soil. Keep rather dry in winter. Feed with a high potassium
fertilizer in summer. It is quite frost resistant if kept dry (hardy to
-12° C). It needs a very bright exposure. Full sun is indispensable to
keep plant compact with strong spines.
Propagation: Direct sow after
last frost, offsets (if available).
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties,
forms and cultivars of
plants belonging to the Acanthocalycium
Taxon has lots of synonyms (like
many other cacti), with
several controversial varieties and subspecies,
and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is
linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate