Lobivia famatimensis

This cactus is native to northern Argentina, where it grows in the mountains. It was introduced into cultivation by Kurt Backeberg, the renowned expert on succulents, and soon became a great favourite in cactus collections. The body of this tiny cactus is almost spherical, measuring only 30-35 mm in height and slightly less in diameter. The crown is flat with a marked depression in the centre. There are 24 longitudinal ribs coloured grey-green. The areoles are white-felted and have six soft spines on either side. The flowers, emerging on the upper third of the stem, are 3.5 cm (l0.5 in) long, large in relation to the body, and range in colour from white to yellow-orange and red, depending on the variety. The stamens, the style and the stigma are yellow. The fleshy fruits measure about 1-1.5 cm and are completely covered with pale reddish-brown hairs.

It is easy to grow. Keep it cool and dry in winter. Propagate from the readily produced offshoots, either grown on their own roots or grafted on Cereus stock.

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