Obregonia denegrii


Ariocarpus denegrii
Strombocactus denegrii


Obregonia denegrii is endemic to a small region in the Tamaulipas state of northeastern Mexico. It primarily grows in semi-desert regions, often in limestone soils. This cactus is adapted to a harsh environment characterized by hot, dry conditions with infrequent but heavy rainfall. It’s often found growing among rocks or in rock crevices, which provide some protection from the intense sun.


Obregonia denegrii, or the Artichoke Cactus, is a slow-growing, solitary cactus that is highly sought after for its unique appearance. It resembles an artichoke, hence its common name, with its layers of triangular, spineless leaves. These leaves are actually modified stems, which overlap each other and are arranged in a geometric, spiral pattern. This cactus grows to about 6-8 cm in height and can reach 10-15 cm in diameter. The leaves are dark green, with wool and small bristles (glochids) found in the axils of the leaves. The surface of the leaves is textured with small tubercles, adding to the plant’s distinctive appearance. Obregonia denegrii blooms in the summer, producing solitary, funnel-shaped flowers. The flowers are white to pinkish-white, about 2-3 cm in diameter, and emerge from the center of the plant. Following flowering, it produces small, round fruits that are initially green, turning to red as they mature.


Cultivating Obregonia denegrii can be challenging but rewarding. This cactus prefers a bright location with indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight, especially during hot summer months, should be avoided as it can cause scorching. A partially shaded spot that mimics its natural habitat under shrubs or rocks is ideal. The soil should be well-draining, ideally a mix formulated for cacti, with good aeration to prevent root rot. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to completely dry out between waterings. During the winter months, watering should be reduced significantly, as the plant enters a dormant period. Obregonia denegrii is sensitive to cold and should be protected from temperatures below 10°C. In regions with cold winters, it is best cultivated in pots that can be brought indoors to a cool, dry location. Fertilizing should be done cautiously; a half-strength cactus fertilizer can be applied once in the spring and once in the summer. Over-fertilizing can lead to excessive growth that can spoil the compact, symmetrical form of the plant. Repotting should be done every few years to refresh the soil. Care should be taken not to damage the root system, which is quite delicate.


Propagation is typically done through seeds, as this plant rarely produces offsets. Seed propagation requires patience, as this cactus is slow-growing. Sow the seeds in a well-draining cactus mix, covering them lightly with sand. Keep the soil moist and in a warm, shaded area until germination, which can take several weeks.


It is a genus made up of only one species, the Obregonia denegrii. One of the most fascinating aspects of Obregonia denegrii is its resemblance to an artichoke, a trait not commonly seen in cacti. This unique appearance, along with its rarity in the wild, makes it a prized specimen among cactus collectors. Additionally, its slow growth rate and geometrically arranged leaves make it a living work of art, cherished for its sculptural beauty.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Read our advice

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search