Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

 

Echinocactus polycephalus var. polycephalus
 
CACTUS ART
NURSERY

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.


Echinocactus polycephalus
 

Description: 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 apparent, and they have pronounced tubercles making them look superficially like Mammillarias.  This Echinocactus is unique because it branches under normal conditions. The dense, stout spines obscure the plant bodies and restrict the small yellow flowers from opening fully. They appear in July. The brown spines appear bright red when wet from rain.

E. polycephalus complex:
This complex is formed by three similar barrel cacti and comprises E. parryi, E. polycephalus var. polycephalus, and E. polycephalus var. xeranthemoides. The two varieties of E. polycephalus are indeed not recognized and accepted by all taxomists, in fact studies in the in the field, and distribution maps indicate potential sympatry among them. While herbarium studies, field observations, scanning electron microscopy, and genetic analysis support the distinction of E. parryi and E. polycephalus as separate species.

 


        New spine are colourful. Needs as much sun as


possible and  careful watering to stay compact.            

.


                             The chalky  pink-white spines turn a

bright red when sprinkled with water.                               

.


Dry


Wet

.


Dry

Wet

.


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 -12C, it needs  full sun, and good ventilation.
It is extremely xerophytic and adapted to very dry soils, but plant grafted are very easy to grow and no special skill is required. They can stay in a non heated green house (hardy to about - 9 C for a short time). This cactus continue
s to be, a particular prize among collectors.

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.
 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery ECHINOCACTUS

 


Advertising



 

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Echinocactus polycephalus

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:

  • Echinocactus xeranthemoides
  • Emorycactus polycephalus

Origin USA (Mohave and Sonoran desert: Yuma and Mojave Co., Arizona, Inyo, San Bernardino Valley, Riverside and Imperial Co., California, Lincoln and Clark Co., Nevada), Mexico (northwestern Sonora)
 


A plant in Habitat. 
Photo and copyright by Wilfried Stolz  (Austria)
 

Habitat: The plant occurs at low elevations mostly on rocky and gravely slopes in the dryest parts of the Sonoran and Mohave deserts.  It is rarely found where rainfall exceeds 5 inches (130 mm) at 30 to 750m elevation. The plants grow  in spreading clumps, sometimes of more than 100 stems, although 20 to 40 stems are more common.

 

 



The flowers hardly escape from the
intertwined mass of hardy spines, and often fail to open completely.

Photo & copyright by Simone Italy



 A young specimen. (Grafted on Nebuxbaumia polylopha)


Grow it in a very draining mineral soil and provide good ventilation (especially in winter)

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.