Cereus caespitosus var. castaneus
Cereus caespitosus var. major
Cereus caespitosus var. minor
Echinocereus caespitosus f. castaneus
E. reichenbachii is native to America in particular it is distributed in Colorado, Kansas, Mexico Northeast, Oklahoma, Texas. The plant grows in rustic habitat like the desert, grasslands or in oak-juniper woodlands and can spread up to 1500 m of altitude.
E. reichenbachii is a cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The cactus has a cylindrical stem and can grow solitary or can branch. The stem is pale green, erect, filled with whitish spines that give it a white look. The stem is arranged in ribs that hold brownish spines. Spines are slightly curved, 8 mm long. Blooming starts in early May and ends in late June. Blossom are borne at the apex of the plant; flowers are abundant with bright pink to magenta petals and yellow anthers. after 2 months from flowering, olive green fruits are formed.
This is a slow growing succulent but quite easy to cultivate. For this succulent the best sun-exposure is light shade, and the plant can resist very low temperatures so it can be placed both indoors and outdoors. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly from March to November: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 10 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow to the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a very fast and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specifics fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. The pot should be quite large and deep because the root is large and tuberose. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done usually every 3 years, early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.
Propagation can be done by seed or by cutting. By seed is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with high level of humidity; temperatures of germination are between 20 and 28 °C. By cutting you can use steam cuttings during the spring. Cut the stem and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase success of propagation you can cut in two or more parts the stem at the same time. For cuttings is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.
The name of the genus “Reichenbachii” comes from Ludwig Reichenbach, (1793-1879) botanist, ornithologist and founder of the Dresden botanical gardens.
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