Gymnocalycium baldianum


Echinocactus baldianus
Echinocactus sanguiniflorus
Gymnocalycium baldianum var. albiflorum
Gymnocalycium baldianum var. raineri
Gymnocalycium baldianum subsp. sanguiniflorum
Gymnocalycium baldianum var. schreiteri
Gymnocalycium marianae
Gymnocalycium raineri
Gymnocalycium rosae
Gymnocalycium sanguiniflorum
Gymnocalycium schreiteri
Gymnocalycium venturianum


Gymnocalycium baldianum is native to Argentina Northwest where the plant can spread up to 2000 m of altitude.


Gymnocalycium baldianum is a small perennial cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has a solitary habit and can reach up to 10 cm in height and 13 cm in diameter. The stem is globose to ball-shaped, apically depressed, green-brownish to blue-green in color, arranged in 9-10 well marked ribs made of tubercles. The areoles are small, woolly, deep-set, whitish to greyish and bear the spines. The 5-7 radial spines are thin, straight or curved, short, pale brown to yellowish in color tinged with red at the base. The central spines are usually absent. Blooming occurs from the late spring to the early summer and the blossoms least for twelve days. The flowers are large, funnel-shaped and are purple red and sometimes pinkish; the stamens are purple and the calyx is greenish. This plant is fast growing and can bloom 1 year after the sowing. The fruits are oblong and green in color.


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 7°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. Using a perforating pot, you can drain excess water. Watering is very important for this species and should be done well: 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. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. You should repot the plant every 2 years 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 by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting 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 the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. 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 14 C°.


Its name comes from the Greek “ghymnòs” (naked) and “càlyx” (calyx) and refers to the calyx of the flower, which is “naked” because it has no scales or hairs to protect it.

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