Gymnocalycium andreae subsp. carolinense
Gymnocalycium andreae f. svecianum
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. atroviride
Gymnocalycium bruchii var. brigittae
Gymnocalycium bruchii f. cristata
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. cumbresitense
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. elegans
Gymnocalycium bruchii var. glaucum
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. implexum
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. lacumbrense
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. lafaldense
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. melojeri
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. multicostatum
Gymnocalycium bruchii var. niveum Rausch
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. pawlovskyi
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. renatae
Gymnocalycium bruchii var. rubroalabastrum
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. shimadae
Gymnocalycium bruchii subsp. susannae
Gymnocalycium bruchii f. svecianum
Gymnocalycium lafaldense f. albispinum
Gymnocalycium lafaldense f. deviatum
Gymnocalycium lafaldense f. enorme
Gymnocalycium lafaldense f. evolvens
Gymnocalycium lafaldense f. fraternum
Gymnocalycium lafaldense f. hossei
Gymnocalycium bruchii is native to Argentina, where it lives at altitudes ranging from the sea level from up to 1000 meters above. It is endemic to Córdoba and San Luis provinces and its habitats are very diverse from each others.
Gymnocalycium bruchii is a little globose cacti, apprecitated by succulent collectors either for its tiny size and for its abundant blossoming. It stays extremely small: its stem reaches a height of 6 centimeters and a diameter of 4! It is bluish-green in colour, not divided into ribs like many other cacti but, instead, provided with conical tubercles on which there are oblong-elliptical, white big areoles. We remind, as always in our botanical notes about cacti, that the areoles are the typical buds of cacti, from which the spines are grown. On each areole, in the case of G. bruchii, there are ten or more light, bristle-like spines, more or less curved and organized in a star-shaped arrangement. Though there are no obviously evident ribs, the tubercles are kind of lined up vertically all along the stem, forming a kind of ribbed structure. The stem is almost completely globose, with a slight depression at the top of it. From the very beginning of its growth, this plant will form clusters that reach, alltogether, a diameter of 15 centimeters.
Flowers, bell-shaped to funnel-shaped, are rather big if compared to the size of the plant, reaching a width of 6 centimeters. Another appreciated feature of them is that they start to appear early, as G. bruchii soon reaches maturity. Their petals show this elegant, pale-pink colour, are numerous and crowded on each other, arranged in two untidy, not so evident layers. The stamens, which are the male part of the flowers, are numerous and crowded as well and make the central part of the flowers also very showy and decorative, along with the big, central, pale yellow stigma – which is, instead, the female part of their flowers -. The calyx is made of concave, slightly succulent, brownish-green sepals, tinged in red and white. We remind that the calyx is the usually green outer whorl of a flower, consisting of separate or fused sepals, which are, for the calyx, the equivalent of the petals for the corolla.
G. bruchii is a dwarf cacti, not so difficult to cultivate, also because it is one of the most frost-tolerant South American cacti. Here below are our cultivation tips:
Choose a bright spot, as long as it’s sheltered from direct sunlight. This plant enjoys filtered sunlight and afternoon shade, though it’s actually rather tolerant also to direct, intense sunlight. If you keep it indoors, instead, place it by a sunny window, as it will need some direct sunlight.
G. bruchii is one of the most frost-tolerant species of south american cacti. It tolerates temperatures down to -15º. Its substrate must though be kept completely dry during the cold season. If you live in a climate area in with rainy Winters, we suggest to keep it indoors or at least to shelter it.
Water every 3-4 days in Spring and Summer, always waiting for the soil to dry up before each irrigation. Reduce watering frequency in autumn and stop completely to water in Winter.
Choose a very draining substrate, with sand, gravel and peat. A standard substrate for cacti is the ideal choice, better if slightly acid: avoid calcareous substrates.
Fertilize once a year during the vegetative period,in Summer, using a product rich in phosphorus, diluting half the doses recommended on the label with watering.
Repotting is rarely necessary: this plant is a dwarf cacti and will stay okay in the same pot for several years. The only extra attention could be the choice of the pot: if possible, choose clay pots rather than plastic ones, as they increase drainage.
Gymnocalycium are generally propagated by seeds. Seeds require one or twoo weeks to germinate, at 21-27 ºC in Spring. Sow them in a light substrate and covere the pot with a glass or a plastic sheet to enhance the greenhouse effect and to maintain the seeds moist. When they germinate, you can gradually remove the glass covering while they put solid roots: definitely take it off when you notice that the plantlets have developed solid roots. The simplest method, however, is division of the lateral clump: remove one of them, let the wound dry up for a few days, and then plant it in a light, sandy substrate.
The genus name “Gymnocalycium” comes from the greek words “gymnos”, “naked” and “calyx”, for “calyx”. The external flower tube, the calyx, is in fact bare, deprived of bristles, spines or hairs.
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