Description: Solitary cacti with
with dens covering of spines, it hybridize easily in habitat and in
cultivation too with other species of the genus Eriosyce.
Stems: Purplish and
globose to short
columnar, 6-18 cm tall, 5-8 cm in diameter;
Ribs:13 to 21 notched somehow depressed between the areoles.
Root: Large, tuberose yellowish.
Spines:; 15 to 40
radials Very dense, glassy, variable in
colour from blond/white, yellow, brown to almost black, with darker
tips; straight to strongly curled and tangled, some hairlike soft and
flexible, other needle-like and stiff, of variable length, obscuring the
plant body and becoming longer with age.
Central spines: About 20, 30-60 mm long.
Radial spines: 15-40 20-60 mm long.
Flowers: 1-5 (or more) cm long and in diameter, borne at plant
apex on young areoles, tubular
to narrow funnel-form, showing various shades of purple-pink with
clearer throat in the
spring, 2.5-5 cm, 1-3 cm wide; Floral tube with tufts of white wool.
Fruits: elongate to clavate, reddish opening by basal pores at
curled and tangled, some hairlike soft and flexible, other needle-like
and stiff, of variable length, obscuring the plant body and becoming
longer with age.
ssp. senilis: It has thin twisted spines and flowers with
few bristles and wool. Origin: Rio Choapa.
ssp. coimasensis: It has strong stiff straight spines.
Origin: Las Copimas south to Monte Negro.
ssp. elquiensis: It has thin twisted spines but the
flowers have many bristles and wool. Origin: Elqui Valley.
Cultivation: It is a
summer-growing species. Water regularly in
summer, but do not over-water (rot prone). It needs good drainage and
very a porous potting soil Keep dry in winter. Feed
with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Full sun to
Frost Tolerance: -4°C.
Propagation: Seeds (seldom produces offsets)
Photo of conspecific taxa,
varieties, forms and cultivars of
plants belonging to the
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