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Visionary Cactus Guide

Gymnocalycium

(chin Cactus) There are 35 known species of this South American Genus. Characterized by short, curved spines, somewhat globular in shape, free flowering. The name of this Genus is derived from the Greek "gymnos" for bare, and "kalyx" for bud, since the flower buds are bare.

G. gibbosum ( Haworth ) -

Native to the provinces of Negro and Chubut in Southern Argentina. Recognizable by its spherical, dark green stem, to 60 cm high. This plant has sunken areoles with 7 - 10 tough, pale brown, radial spines. Prominent, irregualarly shaped tubercles divided by deep grooves, 12 - 19 ribs. The 6 to 7 cm long flowers are white to pink and are quite large in proportion to the size of the Cactus. First described in 1812.

Needs a hot summer and while able to tolerate cold, it needs a frost-free winter. Propagate by seed or shoots.

Contains: mescaline.

G. leeanum -

A species that usually grows in clumps. Native to Argentina and Uruguay.

Contains: hordenine, tyramine, N-methyltyramine.

G. saglione ( Britton & Rose ) -

Native to the provinces of Salta, Tucuman and Catamarca in Northern Argentina. This Cactus has a solitary, spherical stem with 13 to 32 or more ribs. The ribs consist of flattened tubercles divided by transverse grooves. Areoles are spaced about 3 cm apart, and have some felt when young. 8 to 10 or more, 4 cm long, radial spines. The funnel shaped flowers are short and scaley, being white with pink. Reddish fruit is 2 cm in diameter.

May be propagated by seed and is fast growing. Much variability in the species, especially from seed. Needs partial shade in the summer.

Contains: candicine, tyramine,hordenine.