Echinocereus reichenbachii

Echinocereus reichenbachii

Echinocereus reichenbachii or lace cactus is a cactus that is hardy to -31 °C.

It grows not higher than 40 cm and above all requires a very draining soil.

Description:

It is a spherical and later cylindrical cactus with a height of 7-40 cm and a diameter of 2.5-10 cm.

It grows as a solitary when young and later forms branches at the base so that it seems to grow in clusters. It is one of the smallest Echinocereus cacti.

It has 10-19 straight or slightly wavy ribs with areoles at 1-10 mm distance.

The spines are densely packed and form a pattern that resembles lace, hence the English name ‘Lace Cactus’. There are 20-36 radial spines, straight or slightly curved, very close to the ribs and put in two sets, 5-8 mm long. The color varies from white to brown, pale pink, dark brown or purple-black. There are 0-7 central spines (but usually they are absent) which are small, conical, 1-15 mm long, often first dark yellow with a brown top, then white in older areoles.

Beautiful, abundant, fragrant, deep pink flowers, 5-7 cm long. The tube is 22-40 mm long and 10-30 mm wide, with hairs from 5-15 mm. The inner petals are bright pink to silvery, usually white, red, green or multicolored.

The fruit is oval, green, olive-green or dark green, to 28 mm long. She has come from 1.5 to 2.5 months after flowering. The seeds are black.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Black lace cactus, Classen´s cactus, hedgehog cactus, lace cactus, lace hedgehog cactus, merry-widow cactus, purple-candle cactus, Reichenbach hedgehog-cactus

Synonyms:

Echinocereus reichenbachii baileyi, Echinocereus reichenbachii caespitosus, Echinocereus reichenbachii fitchii, Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albispinus, Echinocactus reichenbachii

Etymology:

Echinocereus: from the Greek echinos (hedgehog) and Latin cereus (wax, candle).
Reichenbachii: in honor of Mrs. Reichenbach, the wife of Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach, a German botanist and ornithologist

Origin:

Southwestern United States and northeastern Mexico, in the Chihuahuan Desert

Habitat:

Desert, grassland, Juniper oak woodland at an altitude of 0-1,500 m. It thrives in a variety of sites and soils and is often found in cracks in the rock.



Hardiness:

USDA zone 5-11, -31 °C

Care:

Soil:

Above all, well drained.

Light:

Full sun

Water:

Is very susceptible to rot if too moist, a very good drainage is essential. But to thrive and prosper it must be watered regularly. In the winter it has to be very dry.

Feed:

Fertilize in spring when growth resumes and at the end of the summer with slow releasing solid fertilizer.

Repot:

When the pot is too small.

Propagation:

Seed and cuttings.

Sowing instructions:

  • sow in a sandy, airy and moist mix
  • don’t cover the seeds: they need light to germinate
  • cover the pot to reatin moisture
  • 25 °C
  • transplant: lift the seedlings very gently with tweezers from the substrate
  • germination: 5-180 days

Cutting:

  • cut a branch from the mother plant at the joint with the mother plant
  • let the cuttings dry a few days to several weeks in a dry, sunny or light spot
  • plant the cuttings in dry substrate and water when roots appear

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