Rebutia heliosa var. condorensis cv. rubrispina
Aylostera heliosa subsp. cajasensis
Aylostera heliosa subsp. condorensis
Rebutia heliosa var. cajasensis
Rebutia heliosa var. condorensis
Rebutia heliosa is native to Bolivia where the plant grows on arid mountain areas and can spread up to 3000 m of altitude.
Rebutia heliosa is small succulent belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant forms a clustering mound of tiny heads and can reach up to 3 cm in height and 2 cm in diameter. The stem is short, globular to oval, with the apex depressed and dark green in color. The areoles are small, brownish to greyish, very numerous and cover all the surface of the plant. The spines are inserted on the areoles and the central spines are absent and the 24-26 radial spines are short, spreading laterally, reddish in color. The roots are big, fleshy, conical and taproot. Blooming occurs in early summer and the blossoms are borne near the apex of the stem. This plant once they reach 2 or 3 years of age. The flowers are funnel-shaped, covered outside and inside with greyish woolly and they are made of many petals. The flowers bright red to dark red in color and the stamens are yellow and are located at the center of the flower. The flowering lasts for 3-4 days. The small purple to magenta fruits contains tiny black seeds.
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 0° 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 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°.
Although they have been identified as a genus since the late 1800s, the classification of Rebutia is still being discussed, given their proximity to other genus of dwarf cacti. The cultivar rubrispina is characterized by reddish spines.
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