Echinocereus subinermis var. luteus
E. subinermis is native to native of southern Sonora, western Chihuahua, northern Sinaloa (Northern Mexico). The plant grows in in wood clearings and rocky slopes in tropical deciduous oak forests and can spread up to 1300 m of altitude.
E. subinermis is a dwarf cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant can be solitary or branched and can reach up to 20 cm in height and 10 cm in diameter. The cactus has a cylindrical stem, erect, pale green when young and dark green when mature. The stem is arranged in ribs divided by narrow furrows. Ribs are rounded and can be reddish if exposed to the direct sun light. On the edge of the ribs there are brownish erect spines 1 cm long. Blooming occurs in late spring and early summer and blossom are borne at the top of the plant. Flowers are large up to 12 cm in diameter, with cream to bright yellow petals and green stigma. Flowering begins after 5 years from sowing and the blooming last up 6 days. After 2 months from flowering, grey-green, obovoid 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.
This species is the least armed of the genus, the name “subinermis” means “almost without spines” indeed.
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