Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin


No synonyms are recorded for this species name.


Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin is a cactus that is native to the coastal regions of Chile, specifically near the town of Chanaral. This cactus is known for its unique texture, with a rugose or “lizard skin” epidermis, which is different from the smooth epidermis of the more common form, known as Copiapoa barquitensis. This cactus is found in two forms, one of which is rare and found in the northern regions near Chanaral, while the second form is more commonly found in the southern regions and near the town. Both forms are adapted to dry and desert-like conditions, and thrive in the arid climate of the coastal regions of Chile.


Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin is a unique variety of cactus known for its distinctive, bumpy, reptilian-like skin. The plant grows in a solitary or clumping habit, with offsets at the base. It has a tuberous-napiform root that connects to the main stem through a narrow region. The stem is typically grey-brown or bronzed and is globose, measuring 3-4 cm in diameter (up to 7 cm in cultivation). The aerial part of the stem is almost disc-shaped and almost sunken in the ground, with white wool in the center, also in the older areoles. The epidermis is smooth or roughened. The ribs are 10-14(16) divided in extremely low, often spiraled tubercles, up to 4-8 mm apart, about 4-7 mm in diameter and up to 5 mm tall. The areoles are small, 1-3 mm wide, sunken, oval, with white felt and well separated. Spines are completely absent on the older part of the plant, central spines are absent or solitary and minute, radial spines are very few (from 0 to 10) thin, short and less than 4 mm long, brownish or black becoming ash grey and later deciduous. Flowers are diurnal, apical, with the typical Copiapoa scented, yellow and pink broad 1,5-2 cm long and 30-40 mm wide. Blooming season is during hotter days in summer, blooms open about 2 hours after sunrise and close two hours before sunset. The fruit is slightly fleshy, small globular whitish with only few minuscule apical scales and the seed is shining black and smooth, about 1 mm long, 0,75 mm large and 0,5 mm thick.


Caring for Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s definitely worth it. This cactus is known for its unique, scaly appearance and its slow growth rate. To keep it happy, make sure to plant it in a well-draining, sandy soil and place it in a sunny spot. It can tolerate a bit of shade, but it will do best in full sun. Watering is key – this cactus is susceptible to rotting if it’s overwatered, so be careful not to give it too much H2O. Keep it on the dry side during the winter and when night temperatures dip below 10°C. Fertilize it once during the growing season with a cactus-specific fertilizer, but don’t overdo it – too much fertilizer can lead to fungal diseases. Good ventilation is also important, so make sure to give your cactus plenty of air flow. Despite its delicate nature, this cactus can handle a bit of frost as long as it’s kept dry. So, if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, give Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin a try – it’s a unique and beautiful plant that’s sure to impress!


There are a few different ways to propagate Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin. You can start by planting seeds in a pot filled with fine, well-drained sandy soil. Make sure to cover the seeds with a layer of grit and water from below with a fungicide to prevent damping off. For the first 1-2 weeks, cover the pots with a sheet of glass or clear plastic to keep the humidity levels high. After that, remove the glass and replace it with light shade-cloth. Mist the plants once or twice a day for the next two weeks, then reduce misting to every second day and then every third day as the little plants grow. Don’t disturb the seedlings until they’re well-rooted, then plant them in small pots. Another option is to graft the plant onto a hardy stock, which can make it easier to grow and doesn’t require special skills.


Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin is a cactus cultivar known for its unique, textured appearance that resembles the skin of a lizard. It is a slow-growing cactus that is relatively easy to cultivate and is often kept for the beauty of its form and flowers.
The species name “hypogaea” is derived from the Greek word “hypo” meaning “under” and “gaea” meaning “earth”, referring to the cactus’s tendency to grow underground.
In Spanish, Copiapoa hypogaea cv. Lizard Skin is commonly known as “Piel de lagarto” or “Piel de lagartija” which translates to “Lizard Skin” in English.
Additionally, this cactus is native to Chile and is found in the Atacama desert, where it can survive in extremely hot and dry conditions.

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