Neoporteria nidus

Synonyms:

Eriosyce eriosyzoides
Echinocactus nidus
Eriosyce crispa var. carrizalensis
Eriosyce crispa var. huascensis
Euporteria nidus
Horridocactus carrizalensis
Horridocactus eriosyzoides
Neochilenia huascensis
Neochilenia transitensis
Neoporteria curvispina var. carrizalensis
Pyrrhocactus carrizalensis
Pyrrhocactus eriosyzoides

Habitat:

N. nidus is native to Chile Central and Chile North where the plant grows on rocky soils in mountain regions and can spread up to 1200 m of altitude.

Description:

N. nidus is an uncommon, drought resistant cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The cactus has an erect habit and can reach up to 6 cm in diameter. The stem is spherical to cylindrical, glaucous green and arranged in 16-18 tubercled ribs. The most characteristic feature are the long spines that wrap the apex of the stem. The spines are creamy white, long, slender and soft similar to hair, they are very numerous and protect the plant from drought. Blooming occurs in late spring to early summer and buds are borne at the apex of the stem. The flowers are large, funnel-shaped, from purple to pink with paler throat and last few days. There are many varieties of this species and seem to be all interfertile so the genus Neoporteria have been dismissed and remain for collector’s use only.

Cultivation:

The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 7 ° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer 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. Using a perforating pot, you can 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. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during 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:

Its name comes from Carlos E. Porter, a Chilean entomologist. It is not considered an autonomous genus: it was first considered to be part of the Echinocactus, and is now included in the Eriosyce genus.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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