Habitat: This species grows only in a very small area on the border between Argentina and Bolivia, in the province of Jujui, at heights of 3700 meters above sea level.
Cultivation: Well-draining substrate, exposure full sun, watering regularly in Summer and suspended in Winter.
Curiosity: Yavia cryptocarpa is among the rarest cacti in the world! It is part of a monospecific genus, Yavia, whose only species is Yavia cryptocarpa.
Yavia cryptocarpa is among the rarest cacti in the world! It is part of a monospecific genus, Yavia, whose only species is Yavia cryptocarpa.
This species grows only in a very small area on the border between Argentina and Bolivia, in the province of Jujui, at heights of 3700 meters above sea level. Its growing environment is really extreme: this plant grows on schistose rocks on desertic or better, semi-desertic slopes, where only a few bushes grow. This area has a rainy season between December and March, and a long dry season from October to April, when it rains only occasionally. In this wild environment, Yavia grows between the cracks in the rocks, barely emerging from the rocks, swelling during the rainy season (to store water) and “sagging” during the dry season, surviving even very low temperature conditions.
Yavia cryptocarpa is formed by a single cylindrical stem or rarely, two or more stems, tightly packed, growing close together, and they are very small: their maximum diameter in the natural habitat reaches 25 millimeters! The upper part of these stems is flattened with a small depression in the center. The stems are usually covered with brown-grayish hairs in their upper part, which serves to minimize water loss through evaporation. The upper part of the plant, in its natural environment, is the only one visible: Yavia in fact grows, as already mentioned, in cracks between the rocks, and barely ticks out up on the surface. This is always to protect itself from the extreme climatic conditions of its habitat.
In late Spring, on the upper part of the stem, a beautiful pink flower sprouts, with numerous petals distinct from each other, which then turns into a fruit that contains up to 7 seeds.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Yavia cryptocarpa is part of a monospecific genus, Yavia, whose only species is Yavia cryptocarpa.
TIPS FOR GROWING
To grow your Yavia criptocarpa you will need to follow a few tips:
- Yavia cryptocarpa needs a lot of light and a low degree of humidity in the air.
- They can also be grown outside: they can withstand temperatures as low as -10ºC.
- In summer, you need to water them about once a week, always waiting for the soil to dry completely before each watering: the drying of the soil can be facilitated by placing your Yavia in the upper part of the greenhouse, so that the warm air that rises can help the substrate to dry out.
- You will need to plant your Yavia in deep pots and a well-draining substrate with a strong mineral component.
- Yavia grow little and very slowly: they are perfect to be grown in pots.
Propagation is mainly done through seeds or grafting. Growing seeded plants can be a bit more difficult: they need to be repotted more frequently and are sensitive to excessive exposure to sunlight. Grafted plants, on the other hand, are easier to manage, but show a more pronounced growth in height, which makes them different from Yavia growing in their natural habitat.