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  Thelocactus bicolor ssp. bicolor CACTUS ART

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.


Thelocactus bicolor is
Common in cultivation due to its ease of cultivation and the beautiful flowers freely produced.

Description: Globular usually solitary cacti up to 10 cm in diameter .
Stem: ovoidal, 8-20 cm tall, 5-12 cm wide.
Ribs: 8, distinct. Tubercles rounded. Areoles with glands.
Spines: Centrals 3-4, 15-75 mm long, ochre to reddish, straight, acicular. Radials 8-18, 10-30 mm long, ochre to reddish, straight, acicular.

55-110 mm wide, magenta with a red throat from early spring to autumn


Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and of plants belonging to the Thelocactus bicolor complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms ( like many other cacti) whit 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 characteristics):
  • T. bicolor var. bicolor (Frost hardiness -7C )
  • T. bicolor var. bolaensis (Frost hardiness -12C ) Origin: Coahuilafrom Sierra Bola, up to 20 cm tall.
  • T. bicolor var. commodus  It has been described as having only one, porrect, central spine, but with a careful observation it is possible to notice that the upper central spines are so appressed to the stem that they can be easily mistaken for radials.
  • T. bicolor var. ellipticus is referable to bicolor.
  • T. bicolor var. flavidispinus (Frost hardiness -12C ) Texas 8cm in diameter, 5cm tall.
  • T. bicolor var. heterochromus
  • T. bicolor var. pottsii (Referable to bicolor var. heterochromus).
  • T. bicolor var. rhodophthalmus is referable to bicolor.
  • T. bicolor var. schottii (Frost hardiness -12C) coming from the Big Bend area Texas, Chihuahua) characterized by a very long, papery upper spine.
  • T. bicolor var. schwarzii 1 0 F (-12C) Tamaulipas
  • T. bicolor var.  texensis is an invalid name for a Texas form.
  • T. bicolor var. tricolor (Frost hardiness -7C ) A form with bright red spines. Plants with these characters can be found around Saltillo, Coahuila.
  • T. bicolor var. zwakii,  It is not sufficiently distinct to deserve a subspecies rank.

Cultivars: Thelocactus bicolor cv. INERMIS

It is a summer grower species easy to cultivate. Water regularly from Spring to Autumn, but do not overwater, can become too elongated if compost is too rich. Requires full sun or light shade and careful watering to keep plant compact with strong coloured spines. Needs good drainage and very porous potting mix, In Winter, keep dry.
From seed, since the plant rarely produces plantlets.

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

Photo gallery Thelocactus



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Thelocactus bicolor ssp. bicolor (Galeotti ex Pfeiffer) Britton & Rose
Published in: Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 49: 251 (1922).

Basionym: Echinocactus bicolor Galeotti ex Pfeiffer, Published in: Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 2: pl. 25 (1848).

Origin:  Chihuahua desert from Texas to San Luis Potos in central Mexico.

Habitat: Occurring in mattoral xerofilo on limestone or sandstone slopes or outcrops. (The extensive distribution range of this species has led to the formation of many local forms which in the years have been formally named. Most of these names are not accepted by many botanists that treat them as synonyms, but they still have a value for a collector because they identify plants with particular characters)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:  Taxon synonyms
  • Thelomastus bicolor Fric
    Published in:in Kreuzinger, Verzeichnis 10 (1935).
  • Ferocactus bicolor (Galeotti ex Pfeiffer) N. P. Taylor
    Published in:Cact. Succ. J. Gr .Brit. 41: 30 (1979).
  • Echinocactus rhodophthalmus Hooker
    Published in:Bot. Mag. 76: pl. 4486 (1850).
  • Echinocactus rhodophthalmus var. ellipticus Hooker
    Published in:Bot. Mag. 78: pl. 4634 (1852).
  • Echinocactus ellipticus Lemaire
    Published in: Jard. Fleur. 3: pl. 270 (1853).
  • Echinocactus bicolor var. schottii Engelm., Published in:Proc. Amer. Acad. 3: 277 (preprint 1856).
  • Echinocactus schottii Small
    Published in: Fl. Southeast U. S. 814 (1903).
  • Thelocactus bicolor schott Davis ex Backeb., Published in:Die Cactacecae V: 2809 (1961), nom. inval.
  • Thelocactus bicolor var. schottii Krainz
    Published in:Die Kakteen, Lfg. 18 (1961).
  • Echinocactus bicolor var. montemorelanos Weber,
    Published in:Dict. Hort. Bois 465 (1896), nom. nud.
  • Echinocactus bicolor var. tricolor Schumann, Published in: Gesambt. Kakt. 303 (1898).
  • Thelocactus bicolor var. texensis Backeb., Published in:Die Cact. 6: 3872 (1962), nom. inval.
  • Thelocactus bicolor var. huizachensis Kladiwa & Fittkau, nom. prov.
    Published in: Krainz, Die Kakteen. CVIII b. 1. IV. (1975)
  • Thelocactus bicolor var. commodus Haas, Published in: Kakt. and. Sukk. 39: 86 (1988).
  • Thelocactus bicolor ssp. commodus (Haas) Doweld
    Published in: Sukkulenty 1: 30 (1999)
  • Thelocactus bicolor ssp. zwakii Chvastek & Halda
    Published in: Acta Mus. Richnov. Sect. nat. 7: 38 (2000).

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

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