slowly growing cactus, densely covered with
incredibly strong twisted spines
Stem: Grey green, compact, globular up to 12 (-15) cm wide 10 cm
tall in cultivation (in nature it is partially underground) with a
slightly concave woolly apex. Will not (usually)
Spines: Long, stout,
eagle claw-shaped, typically-twisted,
up to 6cm long. Usually whitish or pale brown.
Flowers: Open petaled, funnel-shaped,
about 4(-7) cm in diameter, 3(-5) cm tall and pinkish in colour. They
grow near the apex. The flowers of Gymnocalycium cardenasianum have a
tough time trying to force themselves through the fierce spines, and is
quite rare to see an open flower because the spines prevent the flowers
from opening properly.
Blooming season: They will bloom at an early age and bloom
sparingly in mid-summer.
Cultivation: Keep this plant almost dry in winter at a minimum
temperature of 0°C. It prefers a
growth will stop altogether. The plant tolerates
extremely bright situations (grow it hard, at a high position in
the greenhouse, to try and develop the spines, which are strong and
but it enjoys some shade during the hottest part of the day in summer.
Propagation: Seeds (seldom produces offsets)
Fruit must be significantly
overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Gymnocalycium
Taxon shows a great degree of variation in
stem and spines colouration, and also in size depending on the site of