Leuchtenbergia principis


Agave Cactus
Cob cactus
Prism cactus


L. principis is native to the North-central Mexico; the plant is widespread in particular in San Luis Potosi and in Chihuahua


L. principis is a lonely and slow growing plant. Due to its long roots it usually colonizes the habitat in which grows and does not allow other plants to develop. At the base of the roots, the plant develops a rosette that bears tubercles. Tubercles are long, stiff and triangular in section, and this is why the plant is called Agave Cactus, because it is similar to the American Agave. Tubercles are 6-15 cm long and at the apex of them, you can find from 1 to 3 big papery spines, up to 10 cm long. 5-year-old plants bloom during the warm months of autumn and spring. At the tip of the tubercles, yellow large funnel-shaped flowers arise; flowers bear small green smooth fruits that release seeds when ripe.


The soil must be a mix texture, well-drained soil. The cactus likes full light sun exposure, so during the spring-summer you should put the plant outdoor to benefit from exposure to direct sun light. During the winter you must place the plant indoors because growth has slowed down at temperature below 5 °C, even if it withstands short periods at -8°C. Despite its habitat being the desert, the cactus resists large amount of rain, but nevertheless we must not exceed with irrigations. You can water once a week during the summer and stop the water during the winter. Remember that too much water causes root rot, and too little water causes tip wilt. A deep pot is recommended for this plant due its long roots and watch out for them when repotting.


Propagation can be done by seed, as it rarely pops or has offsets. Seed must be well watered and cultivate with the right humidity. Cutting of tubercle is also possible, but it is recommended only to the most experienced growers.


L. principis is the only plant of its genus, however it is closely related to Ferocactus and hybrids have been created between these two genera. This hybrid is called Ferobergia and is very popular with collectors.

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