Tephrocactus

Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Argentina, Andes.
Cultivation: Use a basic cactus compost, and make it more fertile through the addition of a small portion of peat.
Curiosity: The name comes from the Greek word “tephra”, which means ash, referring to the greyish color of the stems of many species.

KEY FEATURES

The name comes from the Greek word “tephra”, which means ash, referring to the greyish color of the stems of many species.

The genus Tephrocactus includes short cacti which grow into bushes of various shapes.
Their stem is often gray-green, almost ash-colored – hence the origin of the name. It develop into “paddle-shaped” structures: from the top of every “paddle” a new rounded, club-shaped branch sprout.
This “paddle shaped” stems are very reminiscent of Opuntias: that’s why some species of Tephrocactus are classified under the genus Opuntia. The stem is also covered with tubercles, from the aureoles sprout. Every areole carry many stubby, whitish or dark thorns.

Tephrocactus flowers grow in long, scaly chalices. Depending on the species they can range in color from white to pinkish, to bright yellow. In the center they have a large yellow “button” formed by the stamens.

VARIETY AND TYPES

Of the 35 currently recognized species of this cactus, here are the main ones.

Check out on our online shop to find them!

  • T. alexanderi v. albispina
  • T. aoracanthus
  • T. articulatus
  • T. articulatus v. inermis
  • T. articulatus v. oligacanthus
  • T. articulatus v. papyracanthus
  • T. atroglobosus
  • T. atroviridis
  • T. blancii
  • T. bonnieae
  • T. corotilla
  • T. dactiliferus
  • T. darwinii
  • T. dimorphus
  • T. floccosus
  • T. geometricus
  • T. glomeratus
  • T. lagopus
  • T. molinensis
  • T. minor
  • T. molinensis
  • T. neuquensis
  • T. ovatus
  • T. papyracantha f. black spines
  • T. pentlandii
  • T. rauhii
  • T. strobiliformis
  • T. weberi
  • T. weberi f. deminuta

TIPS FOR GROWING

The many varieties of agave present on the market share resistance and adaptability.

In general, they need the following attentions:

  • Choose a very bright location, preferably under direct sunlight.
  • Although several species can survive short frosts, it is generally recommended to keep these cacti above 5°C.
  • Use a basic cactus compost, and make it more fertile through the addition of a small portion of peat.
  • Fertilize once a year, in early spring.
  • Rinvasare ogni 2-3 anni preferendo i vasi in coccio per favorire la traspirazione.

Just like Opuntias, Tephrocactus can be easily multiplied by branch cuttings. It is recommended to let the wound dry before transplanting the cutting and to use a sandy, very draining soil, keeping the seedling warm.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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