Echinocactus grusonii

This cactus was introduced into cultivation from Central Mexico. The specific name is in honour of H. Gruson of Magdeburg, owner of a large cactus collection. It is a popular species with cactus growers. The stem is very large and spherical – up to 80 cm (31 inch) across and 130 cm (51 inch) high. It has about 30 sharp ribs dotted with felt areoles bearing eight to ten straight or slightly curved radial spines up to 3 cm (1 inch) long and coloured pale yellow. The four central spines are up to 5 cm (2 inch) long. The crown is thickly felted. Golden-yellow flowers about 5 cm (2 inch) long and 5 cm (2 inch) across are arranged in several rows in a circle on the crown.

Water fairly freely in summer; the compost must never dry out. Water sparingly, but regularly, in winter. It does not tolerate strong sun which might cause sun scorch. Propagate only from seed, which germinates rapidly at a temperature of 25°C (77° F).

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