Echinocereus tamaulipensis subsp. deherdtii
Echinocereus tamaulipensis subsp. waldeisii
Wilcoxia poselgeri is native to Western and South-western USA (Texas) and Mexico where it is widespread, in particular, in Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Taumaulipas. It grows in xerophyllous scrubs in alluvional soils. “Xerophyllous” is a botanical term which refers to the adaptation in the leaves structure of some species that makes them able to survive to drought. W. poselgeri occurs in a wide altitude range: from low elevations up to 1150 meters above sea level. Its preferred substrates are sandy soils of partially desert brushlands or valleys or hills. It is not threatened with extinction, though it’s widely collected by local populations.
Wilcoxia poselgeri is an epiphytic cacti with the habit of a scarcely branched shrub. Epiphytics are climbing plants that usually cling to trees or bigger plants. To reach this purpose, W. poselgeri is equipped with slender, scarcely branched stems which, in young plants, are erect, and then end up to take on a climbing, creeping or tentacular habit. Due to its slender stems, which don’t exceed a diameter of 2 centimeters, it is also called “pencil cactus”. In length, instead, the stems can reach a further more remarkable size: up to 1,5 meters in height! Like almost every cacti, the stems are divided into ribs: each stem has 6 to 10 ribs, which are though not so pronounced. The areoles are very numerous and dense on the stems and give birth to 10-15 short, greyish-white spines each. The areoles are cacti’s buds, from which the thorns are formed. In W. poselgeri, each areole produce one, more enlarged, central spine, which is surrounded by 8-15 radially arranged thorns. In younger stems and flower’s bases, they form also white tuft of fluffy hair.
The roots of W. poselgeri are pronounced tubers, with a diameter of 10-20 millimeters each (each plant have maximum 8 tubers). They are the reason why this cactus is also called “Dahlia hedgehog cactus”.
Flowers are very showy: they are born at the top of the stems by funnel-shaped, hairy petioles and they have numerous, lanceolated (similar to rabbit’s ears), bright pink pointed petals. The central part is a yellow circular button made of the numerous, yellow stamens (stamens are the male organs of flowers, in which pollen is stored) and a central, prominent green part, which is the female part of the flower. Flowers end up to form an ovoidal fruit, 2 centimeters long and 15 centimeters wide, dark green to brown, that hosts black small (1.5 millimeters) seeds.
W. poselgeri is not so difficult to cultivate. Here are our tips:
Put it to full or partial sun. It shows good resistance to low temperatures: it can survive at temperatures down to -7/-10ºC, as long as they are kept in a dry substrate. To obtain a healthy blossoming during the vegetative season, it should be kept in a cool, dry spot during the Winter, at a temperature of around 5-10ºC. It’s fundamental, as usual in cacti cultivation, to choose a well-drained, rich in minerals substrate. Water it regularly in Spring and Summer every time you notice that the soil is completely dry, to reduce the irrigation frequency in Autumn and finally stopping the irrigation in Winter. We advice also, as the plant ages, to provide it a support to cling to, as it is a climbing cacti. Repotting could be necessary every year or two years, depending on the stae of the plant.
Propagation is usually carried out usually by seed, though it can also be reproduced by cuttings.
Wilcoxias were named in honor of the scientist Timothy Wilcox. W. poselgeri is used by local populations in Mexico as a medicinal plant as a veterinary medicine to heal broken bones in animals and for its anti-inflammatory properties.
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