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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leuchtenbergia principis

Leuchtenbergia principis is an odd looking cactus, with long triangular in cross-section tubercles and even longer spines resembling dry grass. It is closely related to Ferocactus and known to form hybrids with different Ferocactus species in cultivation. The plant occurs over the large territory in Mexico.
For a long time Leuchtenbergia was the thought after plant among collectors, and was considered rare and difficult. Now days it is common, and also easy in cultivation. Sometimes it can be found even on garden center cactus shelves. It is an easy and rewarding bloomer after reaching the proper size. Areoles are located at the tubercle tip, and that is where the flower forms, on new young growth. The flowers come from inside of the plant rosette, as the flower-bearing tubercles have not reached the full grown size yet.
After just couple of years older tubercles tend to turn reddish and dry out from the tip, giving the sort of worn appearance to the plant. Larger old plants hard to call pretty, but they do look hansom.

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