Thelocactus lophothele subsp. freudenbergeri
Thelocactus lophothele subsp. hintonii
Thelocactus lophothele subsp. rinconensis
Thelocactus rinconensis var. freudenbergeri
Thelocactus rinconensis subsp. hintonii
Thelocactus rinconensis subsp. icamolensis
Thelocactus rinconensis subsp. palomaensis
T. rinconensis is native to Mexico Northeast where the plant grows in xerophytic shrubland and calcareous soils. The cactus can spread up to 1900 m of altitude.
T. rinconensis is a common cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has a solitary habit and forms a highly ribbed stem. The stem is barrel-shaped to spherical, it can reach up to 15 cm in height and 20 cm in diameter. The stem is glaucous-green in color and is arranged in 20-31 ribs made of tubercles. The tubercles are conical and pointed and the areoles are located at the apex of them. The areoles are white and woolly and bear the spines. The spines are generally very long, black and pointed, paler at the apex vary for the type of clone turning from black-brown to yellow. Each areola bear 0-4 straight central spines shorter and 0-5 radial spines longer. Blooming occurs after 5 years of life. The flowers are funnel-shaped, pink to whitish and sometimes yellow or magenta with a darker central stripe. The fruits are spherical, greenish and fleshy.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 4°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice soil, clay and soil. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering is very important for this species and should be done well: 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. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. You should repot the plant every 2 years 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°.
The name comes from the Greek “thele”, that means nipples, and refers to the many tubercles that furrow its surface (an origin of the name similar to that of the genus “mammillaria”).
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