Ferocactus stainesii var. pilosus
Echinocactus pilosus var. pringlei
Echinocactus pilosus f. stainesii
Echinocactus pilosus var. stainesii
Ferocactus pilifer f. flavispinus
Ferocactus pilifer var. stainesii
Ferocactus stainesii var. pringlei
F. stainesii is native to Mexico Northeast and Mexico Southwest where the plant grows in semi-desert areas on rocky limestone hillsides.
F. stainesii is a columnar succulent belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant is solitary and can reach up to 2 m tall and 50 cm in diameter. The stem is barrel-shaped in young and columnar in age and it is arranged in many ribs. The 13-20 pronounced ribs are well-marked and slightly wavy. The stem is dark green in color and ribs bear round areoles. From the areoles emerge several long, flattened, slightly curved, reddish purple central spines. The radial spines are transformed in white hairs. Blooming occurs in late spring to early summer and the flowers are borne at the apical part of the plant. The flowers are bell-shaped, bright yellow to red in color with yellow stamens. The fruit is yellow and fleshy and the seeds are tiny and brownish.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 6°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. 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 a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. 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 early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done only by seed. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 21 C°. The seeds will germinate in 7-14 days, the seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted, after which they can be planted separately in small pots.
The name comes from the Latin “ferox”, that is fierce, given by the presence of colorful, strong numerous and menacing thorns along the ribs of the stem.
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