Lobivia thionantha var. glauca
Acanthcalycium glaucum is native to Argentina, in particular, grows in Andes mountains at very high altitudes.
Its a solitary plant, and it borns as a small, globular cactus that growing can reach up to 15 cm in height. The stem presents 8-14 rounded ribs, which get larger next to the white aerolas: on these, up to 10 radial black spines with a white base grow (and rarely you will see central spines).
During summer you will have the chance to admire its stunning, yellow flowers (that, unluckily, live only for one day).
It is not one of the most demanding cactus, regarding soil: use a well draining, sandy-clay one ( common cactus mix will be okay), and choose a pot deep enough to contain its taproot. You can place it inside or outside, but remember it needs a very bright and, if possible, airy place.
During the vegetative season (spring and summer), water regularly without exceeding (or roots may rot); during winter, avoid watering: when kept dry, this cactus is hardy to freezing temperatures.
Following these few instructions, you hardly will have to face mealybugs and red spiders, the most common parasites of this cactus.
You can propagate your Acanthocalycium by seeds: they will keep up to two weeks to germinate, and once the little plants are well rooted, you will have to gradually remove the glass cover; avoid full sun and keep them in a airy place.
Its name already describes its peculiarities: in greek, acantha means spiky, while calyx means chalice: Acanthocalycium flower buds, in fact, are covered in spines like the cactus body; glaucum refers to the bluish-green waxy-layer that protects the stem, making it quite similiar to Copiapoa cinerea.
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