This tiny plant seems much underrated in
cultivation, perhaps because it so easy to grow, notwithstanding this,
it is one of the most fascinating and showy species!
This species is
self-fertile and produces a fruit full of seed per each flower. The
dehisce by a longitudinal fissure, and the seeds are also easy
to germinate an grow.
Flowers are of a superlative beauty, opening in the moonlight on a
summer night and lasting for only till dawn,
but a number are produced in succession.
It is more related to the Cereus group of plants than to Echinopsis
which its name appears to relate it to.
This is a spectacular little plant which though
short lived always sets plenty of seed.
Propagation: They grow trivially easily from their
freely produced seed and will bloom their second year. It is
self-fertile, hundreds of seeds are produced in every
dry fruit whether it has been
pollinated or not.
Setiechinopsis mirabilis (Spegazzini) De Haas (1940)
Origin: Eastern Argentina ( Santiago del Estero, San Juan,
Mendoza, Colonia Ceres)
They grows often under shrubs in flat prairies up to the base of
mountains, Altitude 500 - 1000 m
It is a short-lived
monospecific cactus that is more related to the Cereus group
of plants than to Echinopsis which its name appears to relate it
Common English Names include: Flower of prayer. (Spanish =
Flor de adoration)
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Etymology: The genus name
derives from Latin "seta" =
bristle-hair, Greek "echinos" = hedgehog and "opsis"
= similar to.
- Setiechinopsis mirabilis
- Echinopsis mirabilis
- Arthrocereus mirabilis
Description: Setiechinopsis mirabilis is a very
small cactus (usually)
solitary. The plants are easily grown from seed and providing good
cultural conditions they may begin to flower in their second year.
Stem: Dark brown,
cylindrical which seldom grows taller than 15 cm, 2.5 cm in diameter.
The plants seem to die
long before this, and are best replaced with fresh seed-raised ones.
Flowers: Last for only one night, but a number are produced in
Blooming season: Summer, the blooms open at sun set and last only
a few hours.
The spicy exotic perfume and long, narrow flower
tube suggest that the natural
pollinator must be a long-tongued
Fruit: Drying at matutrity an opening laterally by a longitudinal
fissures, with numerous seed.
nocturnal narrow , up 12 cm, pungently fragrant that open after dark
summer night and close before daybreak.
This is the only species of Setiechinopsis known
cultivated for its flowers and is among the easiest species to grow, flower and propagate. Indicated
for full sun or half shade
exposure, water regularly from march to October, rot prone in winter,
needs good drainage, It needs
to be kept in a cool place during winter rest (can
briefly tolerate temp. as low as -4°C) Stems
may possibly become purple and limp in winter but revitalize in early
spring. Occasionally the plants
reach some 15cm tall, but this seems rare. The plants seem to die long
before this, and are best replaced with fresh seed-raised ones.