ESPOSTOA

These are found in Ecuador and Northern Peru. They are columnar plants, hairy or woolly, developing a cephalium from the central axis. They are very popular with collectors. A suitable compost consists of 1 part loam, 1 part leaf-mould, 1 part sand, and a quarter part old mortar rubble.

Espostoa lanata. Branching above, dull grey-green, with rather sparse hairs, which become thicker at the crown. The areoles on the numerous ribs are very woolly at first, bearing about 12 yellow to reddish radial spines, and 1 or 2 clearly recognizable central spines, and much silky white hair entirely covering the stem. Flower, white or whitish-pink. This is a beautiful species which requires warmth, and thrives well in half shade or in full sunshine.

Espostoa Dautwitzii. Often considered as a variety of E. lanata. The ribs are more numerous and more acute. The areoles are yellow, furnished with very silky pale yellow hair, denser and longer at the top, but becoming lightly matted and covering the stem lower down. A cristate form is in cultivation.

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