Gymnocalycium quehlianum


Echinocactus platensis var. terweemeanus
Echinocactus quehlianus
Echinocactus stellatus
Gymnocalycium amoenum
Gymnocalycium asterium
Gymnocalycium parvulum var. amoenum
Gymnocalycium quehlianum var. albispinum
Gymnocalycium quehlianum var. flavispinum
Gymnocalycium quehlianum var. rolfianum
Gymnocalycium quehlianum var. stellatum
Gymnocalycium quehlianum var. zantnerianum
Gymnocalycium stellatum
Gymnocalycium stellatum var. flavispinum
Gymnocalycium stellatum var. kleinianum
Gymnocalycium terweemeanum


Gymnocalycium quehlianum is native to Argentina Northeast where plant grows on sandy or gravelly alluvial soils and can spread up to 1000 m of altitude.


Gymnocalycium quehlianum is a dwarf perennial cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has a solitary habit and can reach up to 7 cm in diameter and only rises a few centimetres above the ground. The stem is globose to barrel-shaped, flat, apically depressed, greenish-blue to reddish in color, arranged in 10-16 slightly marked ribs made of tubercles. The areoles are small, woolly, very close each other, whitish and bear the spines. The 5-7 radial spines are thin, curved against the plants, short, yellowish to whitish. The central spines are usually absent. Blooming occurs from the late spring to the early summer and the blossoms least for a week. The flowers are large, showy, funnel-shaped and are white to pale pink with a reddish throat; the stamens are yellow and the calyx is greenish. 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. 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 succulents; 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 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. The specific epithet comes from the German botanist Leopold Quehl (1849-1922).

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