Lobivia famatimensis

Synonyms:

Echinopsis famatimensis
Echinocactus famatimensis
Echinopsis bonnieae
Lobivia bonnieae
Lobivia famatimensis var. aurantiaca
Lobivia famatimensis var. cinnabarina
Lobivia otukae var. cinnabarina
Lobivia otukae var. croceantha
Lobivia pectinifera var. citriflora
Lobivia pectinifera var. sufflava
Reicheocactus bonnieae
Reicheocactus famatinensis
Reicheocactus pseudoreicheanus

Habitat:

Lobivia famatimensis is native to Argentina Northwest where the plant grows on grasslands and on rocky soils and can spread up to 3000 m of altitude.

Description:

Lobivia famatimensis is an uncommon succulent, very sought after by collectors, belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant is a small cactus with solitary habit and can reach up to 4 cm in height and 3 cm in diameter. The stem is short, globular to oval, with the apex depressed and dark green with purple hues if exposed to the sun. The stem is arranged in 24-40 ribs made of tubercles. The areoles are brownish and bear the spines. The central spines are absent and the 7-9 radial spines are downward curved, yellowish to brownish in color. The roots are big, conical and taproot. Blooming occurs in early summer and blossom are borne near the apex of the stem. The flowers are funnel-shaped, covered outside and inside with greyish woolly and they are made of many petals. The flowers can take on bright yellow to bright red colors and they have yellow stamens at the center. The wonderful flowering unfortunately only lasts a few days, so it is an eye catching event not to be missed.

Cultivation:

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 5°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:

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°.

Curiosity:

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. The specific epithet refers to Famatina a city in Argentina, so the correct name should be Lobivia famatinensis but there seems to have been a typographical error so the specific epithet is famatimensis.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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