Habitat: South America
Cultivation: Use a basic cactus compost with a little peat soil. Water sparingly.
Curiosity: The genus Mediolobivia is considered by some to be a synonym of Rebutia.
Plants of the genus Mediolobivia are rounded or columnar cacti native to South America (Peru, Bolivia).
Their stems don’t have ribs as many cacti do, but are instead divided into a series of not so pronounced tubercles arranged vertically or spirally, which are generally bright green in colour and very small in size, however in some species the bright green is replaced by a reddish, darker grey or by a deeper green. Spines, usually white, grow on the tops of the differently shaped areoles. They are sometimes very numerous, long and sharp, almost hiding the stem from view in some species. In other ones, actually the majority of Mediolobivias, they are shorter, thicker and divided into groups of 7-8 thorns, arranged in starry patterns, each one growing from an areole. What makes Mediolobivias so fashinating is the spiral arrangement of the tubercles, which forms a kind of a fractal structure.
The gorgeous, funnel-shaped flowers show a bunch of long, numerous, red, yellow and orange petals tinged in the most flashy and various shades of colors, and grow along the rounded stem. They are very large, if compared with the stems, and are one of the reasons why these plants are so sought after by cacti lovers.
Flowering occurs during the day, in spring/summer and is generally very abundant, as long as the plant has gone through a proper period of dormancy. During the Winter, your Mediolobivia must not be watered and should be kept in a cool place, preferably indoors.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Depending on the classification, Mediolobivia can be a synonym of Rebutia or a part of the genus Echinopsis. The classification in which it is considered a separate genus include the following species:
- M. atrovirens
- M. atrovirens v. yuncharasensis
- M. brunneoradioata
- M. canacruzensis
- M. diersana v. minor
- M. haagei
- M. pygmaea
- M. pygmaea v. longispina
- M. ritteri
- M. rutiliflora
- M. steinmannii
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TIPS FOR GROWING
Here are some tips on how to grow plants of the Mediolobivia genus::
- Place your Mediolobivia in a bright area, not in direct sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
- The minimum tolerated temperature in winter is 7-10°C: that’s why we advise you to place it indoors or somehow protect it as soon as the night temperature begins to fall.
- These cacti need very little water. Water them regularly in summer every 3-4 days, but only if the soil has dried out completely. Stop watering completely in winter.
- Mediolobivia thrive easily in standard cacti soil with the addition of a little peat.
- Dilute a fertilizer with a low nitrogen content in the water during spring and summer.
- Repot only if necessary, in Spring.
The propagation of Mediolobivias can be carried out either by seed or by taking the lateral suckers, which are often present, and placing them directly in a growing substrate.