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Origin and Habitat: Hardin County (Texas, South-Central U.S.A., Northern America)
Description: Echinomastus gautiiSN|32469]]SN|12726]] is a rare small solitary cactus and has a covering of whitish curved radial spines and 2-3 centrals, chalky blue with dark tips. Flower are broadly funnel-shaped bright pink with magenta midribs. This controversial species has passed several taxonomic revision, at first Zimmerman (1991) believed that Neolloydia gautiiSN|1912]]SN|12727]] was an etiolated (elongated) form of Turbinicarpus beguiniiSN|1904]]SN|1904]] (syn. Neolloydia beguiniiSN|12727]]SN|1912]]) but Mosco and Zanovello (1997) argued persuasively that it should be, in fact, an Echinomastus. Up to date this species is often included within (as a synonym of) Echinomastus warnockiiSN|12726]]SN|32469]] ,
Derivation of specific name: The specific name “gautii” honours J. H. Gaut (fl. 1905).
Stems: 7-8 cm high, 5-6 cm in diameter.
Central spines: 2-3, chalky blue with dark tips, pointing upward, straight or slightly curved, to 2 cm long.
Radial spines: 16-20, spreading, whitish, 0.9-1.2 cm long.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
3) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
4) Orrell T. (custodian) (2017). ITIS Global: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (version Apr 2016). In: Roskov Y., Abucay L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J., Penev L., eds. (2017). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 22nd March 2017. Digital resource at www.catalogueoflife.org/col. Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-8858.
5) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names” Springer Science & Business Media, 29 June 2013
6) D. Hunt “Cactaceae Systematics Initiatives: Bulletin of the International Cactaceae Systematics Group”, Edizioni 1-20, 1996
7) Flora of North America Editorial Committee “Flora of North America: North of Mexico. Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1” Oxford University Press, 1993
8) L.D.Benson in: Cactus and Succulent Journal. Volume 46, Los Angeles 1974, page. 80.
9) A.D.Zimmerman in: Bradleya. Volume 15, 1997, page. 81.
Cultivation and Propagation: This cactus is rarely seen in cultivation, it needs perfect drainage to flourish. It is quite difficult to grow on its own roots. Very easily rot! It’s thought that’s better to watch this species in photo or in the natural habitat rather than to try to cultivate it. For this reasons the plant is often grafted on a frost hardy stock.
Soil: Give an open soil that drains fast, and avoid mixtures containing peat or any other form of sphagnum moss.
Exposure: This plant need full sun and above all a very good ventilation, especially in winter.
Water requirements: Keep totally dry during winter, and in summertime make sure that the soil dries enough between waterings. It can tolerate temperature below zero (-5° C or less).
Remarks: Mature individuals - if the growing conditions are not optimal, easily rot and die.
Propagation: Seeds are relatively difficult to germinate (only a limited percentage of seeds germinate). Moreover it is easy for the seed to get lost behind the spines, which are stiff enough that when you try to retrieve them you just might loose them altogether. Grafting is often used to speed growth rate and to create a back-up for plants in collection.
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