Matucana intertexta


Borzicactus intertextus
Borzicactus intertextus var. celendinensis
Matucana celendinensis
Matucana intertexta var. celendinensis
Matucana intertexta var. intertexta
Submatucana intertexta


Matucana intertexta can only be found in Peru, specifically in the Cajamarca area, occupying an area of 800 km2. It flourishes in regions with elevations between 2,000 to 2,600 meters and is commonly found in the valleys between the Andes mountains. Although it faces risks from illegal collection and trafficking, it is also cultivated for its ornamental qualities.


Matucana inertexta is a low-growing, globe-shaped cactus that originates from Peru, and it’s possibly a relative of Matucana aurantiaca. However, it differs from its relative due to its having 15-25 crenate ribs, 1-4 brown-tipped central spines, and golden yellow flowers. Typically, Matucana inertexta grows as a solitary plant or sometimes forms a few offsets around the base. The plant’s stem is typically slightly cylindrical, measures about 20 cm tall and up to 18 cm broad, and can occasionally grow up to 30 cm. The cactus has 15-25 crenate ribs, 1-4 brown, dark-tipped central spines, and 8-12 intertwined radial spines that measure 8-20 mm long. The flowers of Matucana inertexta are somewhat radially symmetrical, slender and can grow up to 7 cm, 3 cm wide. They have perianth segments ranging in colors from golden yellow to pale orange (with occasional pink), and their apices are either blood red or violet. Matucana inertexta typically blooms from spring to early summer. Finally, it is essential to note that Matucana inertexta is one of five cacti identified in the Matucana aurantiaca group.


Matucana intertexta is a plant that grows easily during summer in arid soils, making it impractical for enclosed spaces where watering could cause harm. Although it grows slowly in its natural environment, it thrives and grows much faster in greenhouses. It needs well-draining soil that’s sandy and open, and its pot should be deep to accommodate its taproot. Repotting should be done every year in spring when the roots get congested. After repotting, you shouldn’t water it for a week to prevent root damage. Matucana intertexta does best in brightly lit places but can still tolerate some shade. During the growing season, it’s best to water it infrequently and keep it dry during winter. To ensure healthy growth and natural shape, it should be fertilized using a high potash fertilizer and micro-nutrients that should be diluted to ½ the recommended strength on the label. Good ventilation is crucial because stagnant air encourages dampness and moisture problems. Although it’s almost pest-free in good condition, it attracts different pests such as red spiders, aphids, mealy bugs, scales, and thrips. Overwatering or growing in poorly-ventilated spaces often causes root rot, which is a common problem. To survive mild frost, Matucana intertexta needs a minimum winter temperature of about 5°C and a dry atmosphere.


Matucana intertexta is typically propagated through the use of seeds, although offshoots are uncommon. The seeds should be planted in pots containing well-draining sandy soil with a fine texture. The optimal time to plant them is during spring, when temperatures are warm. Following the sowing of the seeds, a thin layer of grit should be applied, and the soil-watered from beneath the container, with the addition of fungicide to prevent damping off. For one to two weeks following planting, the pots should be covered with clear perspex or glass to increase the humidity levels. Once the seedlings emerge, the glass should be replaced with light shade cloth, and the plants should be sprayed twice daily for two weeks. As the seedlings mature, misting should occur less frequently, approximately every two to three days. The plants should not be disturbed until they have a well-established root system, at which point they can be transplanted into individual small containers.


Despite its popularity, Matucana intertexta is considered a threatened species due to habitat loss, illegal collection, and other factors.
In addition to being a beautiful and fascinating plant, this cactus is also believed to have potential medicinal uses, although more research is needed to fully explore its properties.

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