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Origin and Habitat: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar). The odd crested forms are extremely rare and may appear both on seedling batches in a very small percentage and in habitat too
Echinocactus texensis f. cristata hort.
( = cristata)
Echinocactus texensis Hopffer ex Regel
Gartenflora xxxvii. (1888) 633, t. 1286 [ et: Allg. Gartenzeitung (Otto & Dietrich) 10: 297. 1842 ]
- Echinocactus texensis Hopffer ex Regel
- Echinocactus texensis var. gourgensii Cels ex Labour.
- Homalocephala texensis var. gourgensii (Cels ex Labour.) Y.Itô
- Echinocactus texensis var. longispinus Schelle
- Echinocactus texensis var. treculianus Förster
Echinocactus texensis f. cristatus variegatus hort.
( = cristata)
- Echinocactus texensis f. cristatus variegatus hort.
- Echinocactus texensis cv. Anayami Monstr
- Echinocactus texensis f. montruosa hort.
- Homalocephala texensis f. monstruosa hort.
- Homalocephala texensis cv. Anayami Monstr
- Echinocactus texensis cv. Kyoushi Anayami
- Echinocactus texensis cv. Togenasi Ayanami
Description: The typical Echinocactus texensis, best known in cultivation as Homalocephala texensis, is a stout barrel cactus that lies low to the ground, solitary when young, very rarely slowly clustering in age. It is distinguished by rather flattened, often very strong spines. They are a rich brown and form a pleasing contrast against the grey green body.
Crested form: The crested Horse-crippler (Echinocactus texensis f. cristata) is a very rare, slow-growing and highly priced crested cactus forming odd sculptural shapes. Its stems fan out and can get very big making a spectacular specimen. The crested form - despite to its beauty - is still very rare, pricey and sought after by collectors.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echinocactus texensis group
- Echinocactus texensis Hopffer ex Regel: is a stout barrel cactus with strong annulated spines, not hiding stem surface. The centrals hooked and flattened pale tan, pink-reddish to grey. Distribution: Southern USA and northeastern Mexico.
- Echinocactus texensis f. cristata hort.: crested form. Its stems fan out and can get very big making a spectacular specimen.
- Echinocactus texensis f. cristatus variegatus hort.: crested and variegate form.
- Echinocactus texensis f. variegatus hort.: variegated form: stems that have sectors, patches or stripes with two colours, yellow and green. There are several forms of variegation. The extent and nature of the variegation can vary.
- Echinocactus texensis cv. Anayami Monstr: has many irregular, more or less prominent supplemental monstrous ribs between and on the true ribs surface with very elongated, felty areoles filled by pectinate spines.
- Echinocactus texensis cv. Kyoushi Anayami: has twisted spines that looks like odd spiders.
- Echinocactus texensis cv. Togenasi Ayanami: is a spineless form.
Cultivation and Propagation: It is not too difficult in a greenhouse, although grows quite slowly. It is usually seen as a grafted plant but can grow on its own roots too.
Soil: Use a mineral well permeable soil with little organic matter (peat, humus).
Exposure: They need a good amount of light shade to full sun this help to keep the plants healthy, although slow growth.
Watering: Water sparingly from March till October (weekly during summertime, if the weather is sunny enough), with a little fertilizer added. Less or no water during cold winter months, or when night temperatures remain below 10° to prevent root loss. It is sensitive to overwatering (rot prone).
Fertilization: Feeding may not be necessary at all if the compost is fresh then, feed in summer only if the plant hasn't been repotted recently. Do not feed the plants from September onwards as this can cause lush growth which can be fatal during the darker cold months.
Hardiness: Keep perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (but it is relatively cold resistant and hardy to -5° C, or possibly colder for short periods) In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!! (Temperature Zone: USDA 9-11)
Crested growth: Unlike 'monstrose' varieties of plants, where the variation from normal growth is due to genetic mutation, crested growth can occur on normal plants. Sometimes it's due to variances in light intensity, or damage, but generally the causes are unknown. A crested plant may have some areas growing normally, and a cresting plant that looks like a brain, may revert to normal growth for no apparent reason. If you have any of the crested part left you need to remove the normal growth and leave the crested part behind this will need to be done regularly.
Propagation: Grafting or cuttings. Plants are usually grafted onto column-shaped cacti but proved to be able to produce their own roots if degrafted. Cuttings will take root in a minimum temperature of 20° C (but better in hot weather). Cuttings of healthy shoots can be taken in the spring and summer. Cut the stem with a sharp, sterile knife, leave the cutting in a warm, dry place for a week or weeks (depending on how thick the cutting is) until a callus forms over the wound. Once the callus forms, the cutting may be inserted in a container filled with firmed cactus potting mix topped with a surface layer of coarse grit. They should be placed in the coarse grit only; this prevents the cut end from becoming too wet and allows the roots to penetrate the rich compost underneath. The cuttings should root in 2 to 6 weeks. Large crested piece must be placed on the soil surface without burying the plant base down in the soil.
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