Habitat: Gypsum hills of a small region near Rayones, in Mexico.
Cultivation: Due to its extremely slow growing rate, it is wrongly considered a difficult plant, as a well-drained substrate, a full-sun exposure and a careful watering will make it thrive.
Curiosity: The name Geohintonia comes from the botanist who named it, Georges Hinton. This plant was discovered only in 1992.
Geohintonia is a genus of cacti which includes only one species: Geohintonia mexicana. , a little cactus from Mexico.
This cactus grows in dry areas, in gypsum hills near a town called Rayones in the region of Nuevo León in Sierra Madre, along with Aztekiums and other rare succulents of dry areas. Its population is severely threatened by collectors, which are attracted by the rarity of this species and by its gorgeous flowers. Also, in general, collectors seek after dwarf cacti.
Geohintonia is a rounded dwarf cactus, never taller than 10 centimeters, with a pale green stem divided into numerous ribs, along which short, incospicuous spines grow from white, slightly hairy areoles. The globose shape gives way to a more columnar plant as the plant ages. Also, younger plants show more woolly areoles, while older ones are almost nude. On the top of the plant there is a typical sinking, like the one of an apple or a cherry. Its ribs are prominent and, in some specimens, arranged spirally.
Geohintonias grow very slowly and never bloom before their 15th year of age! Anyway, when they finally do, they produce a solitary flower or a pair of them on the top of their stem. These flowers are bright pink, star-shaped, with numerous lanceolate petals and a flashy, yellow central button, so that they look a bit like big, pink daisies. Blooming time occurs in Autumn. Flowers are big, if compared to the little rounded stem.
After the blooming, oval fruits with small black seeds (1 mm) are formed, where they remain hidden in wool produced at the top of the plant after flowering.
Also crested forms of Geohintonia can be found on the market. For their extreme rarity, they are really sought after.
VARIETY AND TYPES
As we already mentioned above, Geohintonia includes only one species: G. mexicana. Check our online shop to find it!
TIPS FOR GROWING
Due to its small area of growth, Geohintonia is considered not very adaptable and demanding. Actually, this impression is created mainly by its extremely slow growth: with some attention, your Geohintonia will thrive and, if you’re patient, it will reward you with its wonderful flowers. It is frequently found grafted but it also gets by with its own roots.
Here are our cultivation tips:
- Put it in a bright spot. If it receives direct light, it will take on a prettier, compressed form instead of the more unnatural, columnar one.
- Geohintonia are from hot climates: they can’t tolerate temperatures below 5ºC. We advise you to keep them indoors in Winter. Their ideal temperature, instead, is around 20-28ºC.
- The perfect substrate for your Geohintonia should be very well-drained and poor in organic matter.
- Pay attention to watering: water scarcely, but regularly (once every 5-8 days), always waiting for the soil to dry properly before each intervention, during its vegetative season (March to October), then suspend any irrigation during the Winter.
- If possible, fertilize it once a month in Summer with a product containing Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus.
- Repotting won’t almost never be necessary as the plants grows very slow. However, when you notice that the stem approaches the edges of the pot, proceed with the repotting.
Propagation of Geohintonia is mainly carried out by seed or grafted cuttings. These plant are in fact frequently found in grafted forms. When grafted, they show more resistance and adaptability.