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Echinopsis
This nOde last updated May 7th, 2002 and is permanently morphing...
(10 Cauac (Rain) / 12 Uo  - 179/260 - 12.19.9.3.19)
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DESCRIPTION: This large group of beautiful cacti is native to the southern part of South America. These species range from very small and globular to tall, columnar plants reaching a height of up to 30 feet. They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors as well as produce large, gorgeous blossoms in an array of colors. Many of these cacti can survive near-freezing temperatures and neglect. They are excellent for growing in containers in greenhouses, homes and outdoors and as landscape plants. E. mamillosa kermesina forms a globular plant up to a foot high. This species will produce flowers in the summer when only 3 inches in diameter. The deep red to purple blossoms open at night and last about 24 hours. Grow in full internal linksun and protect from cold to prevent ugly scars. E. famatimensis is a very pretty, slow-growing variety that produces soft stems up to 2 inches wide, which will eventually form small clusters. The rusty brown areoles contrast nicely with the dark internal linkgreen body of this plant. In the spring, fuzzy brown buds form on the sides of the plant, opening into 2-inch wide, golden yellow flowers infused with orange. E. chamaecereus (Peanut Cactus) produces long, slender, branching stems, 1/2-inch thick, which are covered in short, white spines. In late spring or early summer, funnel-shaped, orange flowers are borne along the length of the stems. They will open completely in bright light, though the plant doesn't like hot sun. E. chamaecereus var. lutea (Yellow Peanut Cactus) is an interesting species, which is mainly grown for its very pale yellow stems since it rarely produces its red flowers. This plant doesn't produce any chlorophyll; therefore it is grafted onto a green cactus that will supply it with food. The Yellow Peanut Cactus can only be grown in a container because it needs special care. Its tender body needs shade from summer sun to prevent scorching. The grafting stock will determine the minimum temperature this plant can stand; though the average is about 50º F. E. scopulicola (Easter Lily Cactus) is an interesting plant with gorgeous blossoms. The Easter Lily Cactus forms an almost spineless columnar stem up to internal link8 feet high with a spread of 3 feet. The body is deeply ribbed and has thick, matte green skin. When this quick-growing cactus reaches a height of 4 feet, it begins to bear its huge, white flowers, which grow up to 10 inches across. The blossoms open in the evening and fade in the morning. This vigorous species also makes an excellent grafting stock.

POTTING: The minimum temperature of these cacti ranges from 32º to 50º F, depending on the variety. Plant them in equal parts of loose soil and leaf mold with a liberal amount of coarse sand and fine gravel added. They should be provided with adequate internal linkwater and fertilizer.

PROPAGATION: These cacti will easily grow from seeds, offsets or cuttings. Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer in well-drained pots of sandy soil that are half-filled with crocks. Make sure the surface is evenly smooth and sow the seeds thinly on top. Cover them with a bit of fine soil. Moisten and lay a piece of glass across the top. The pots should be set in a warm greenhouse or sunny window until they start to sprout after which the glass should be removed so they can receive full internal linklight and air. It isn't good to keep the glass over the seedlings, so if some of them are up before others, they may be pricked out and placed in another pot. The transplanted seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted after which they can be planted separately in small pots. Offsets or cuttings made from pieces of the stem of any size can be detached and laid aside for a few hours to allow a protective "skin" to form over the cut. They can then be planted in pots of sand or very sandy soil. Place them in a spot where they'll receive sun and do not water until the soil becomes pretty dry. After a while the soil can be moistened regularly but never kept constantly saturated. In mild climates, cuttings will root if planted directly in soil outside.

VARIETIES: E. mamillosa kermesina; E. 'Forty-Niner'; E. marsoneri (Cob Cactus); E. densispina; E. oxygona; E. backebergii; E. chamaecereus (Peanut Cactus) & var. Jubilee (Purple Peanut Cactus), lutea (Yellow Peanut Cactus), Fire Chief; E. scopulicola (Easter Lily Cactus); E. bruchii (South American Barrel Cactus); E. calochlora (Shining Ball); E. huascha; E. deserticola; E. aurea; E. famatimensis; E. 'Green Gold'; E. smurzianus; E. peruvianus; E. 'internal linkLos Angeles'; E. 'Glorious'; E. albispinosa; E. longispina; E. rhodotrica; E. tubuiflora; E. 'Haku-jo'.

(Another common name for these cacti is Sea Urchin.)


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Echinopsis Djinn - at the Huntington Library
Echinopsis internal linkDjinni

 
Echinopsis Oracle - at the Huntington Library
Echinopsis internal linkOracle

 
 
Echinopsis Seance - at the Huntington Library
Echinopsis internal linkSeance

 
 
Echinopsis Sorceress - at the Huntington Library
Echinopsis internal linkSorceress

 
 
Echinopsis Gypsy
Echinopsis internal linkGypsy


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pOrtal:
external linkRobert Schick Hybrids

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