Lobivia aurea var. fallax
Echinopsis aurea var. fallax
Lobivia aurea subsp. fallax
Lobivia shaferi subsp. fallax
Pseudolobivia aurea var. fallax
Lobivia aurea var. fallax is native to Argentina Northwest.
Lobivia aurea var. fallax is a small cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The cactus can be solitary or can branching from the base forming mats, it is very reduced in size and can reach up to 15 cm in height and 10 cm in diameter. The stem is globose to cylindrical, dull green to greyish in color, arranged in 14-15 ribs separated by deep grooves. The ribs are covered with small, brown and woolly areoles bearing the spines. The 8-10 radial spines are 2 cm long, thin, pointing outwards and whitish in color. The central spine is 4 cm long, brown with yellow tips. Blooming occurs from the spring to the summer and the buds are borne on long stalks starting from the ribs. The flowers are funnel-shaped, very showy, pale yellow o bright yellow in color, with a narrow and greenish throat. The stamens are yellow and short and located in the center of the throat. The flowers last for four days and the blooming is diurnal and favoured by periods of cold during vegetative rest. The cactus is very similar to the Echinopsis genus but it slightly differs for the diurnal flowering and for the size and the shape of the flowers.
This is a fast growing plant, easy to cultivate. For this succulent the best exposure is direct sunlight, so you can place it outdoors but be careful in the hottest days. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The maximum resistance to cold is 5 °C so it is recommended not to expose the plant to lower temperatures. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice, clay and loam. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly during the vegetative period. In Spring and Autumn, the plant can be watered with half a glass of water every week; in summer it can be watered with two glasses of water a week; in winter stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. The plant is used to growing in poor soils, for this reason it does not need abundant fertilization, it is sufficient to fertilize once in spring and once in summer. 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; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can use the offsets during the spring. Cut an offset and then let it 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. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. 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 and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
The name of this genus was obtained by anagramming the word Bolivia, the state from which most of this species comes from. Today it is considered part of the vast Echinopsis genus.
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