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Traslasierra - Cordoba - Argentina
Origin and Habitat: Widespread in Cordoba, and San Luis, Argentina. Gymnocalycium ochoterenae has a relatively wide range, and is abundant. (also reported from La Rioja)
Altitude: (300-)500-150(-2500) metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology: Gymnocalycium ochoterenae grows in chaco forest associated to mountainous soils. The species is abundant, common and tolerant to disturbance. There are no major threats affecting this species.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae Backeb.
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae Backeb.
Kaktus-ABC [Backeb. & Knuth] 293, 417, 1936
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae Backeb.
- Gymnocalycium intermedium Piltz non Hildm.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. albiflorum Lukašik
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. albispinum hort.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. cinereum Backeb.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. longispinum Lukašik
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. polygonum Backeb.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. scoparium H.Till & Neuhuber
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. tenuispinum Backeb.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. unguispinum hort.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. variicolor hort.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. variispinum Backeb.
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subs. herbsthoferianum H.Till & Neuhuber
Gymnocalycium 5(4): 75 (1992), as 'ochoterenai'
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subs. vatteri (Buining) Papsch
Gymnocalycium 6(1): 79 (1993), as 'ochoterenai'
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subs. vatteri (Buining) Papsch
- Gymnocalycium vatteri Buining
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subs. vatteri var. altautinense Papsch
Description: Gymnocalycium ochoterenae is a flattened, brown bodied, interestingly spined species, solitary barely rising above ground level or sometime branching in cultivation to form small clusters. This species is characterized by a marked variability in in body form and spination and has received many names.
Stem: Flattened hemispherical to spherical, grey-green, olive green to brownish, 3-4,5 cm tall and up to 8 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 9 to 12(-16) wide and flat, or slightly tuberculate.
Areoles: Round to oval, initially felted but soon naked.
Roots: Branched taproot.
Central spine: Often lacking.
Radial spines: Usually 3 (occasionally 1 or 5 or rarely 7) needle-like, stiff, straight to slightly curved, bent back on the body, pointing downward or comb-shaped radiating, brownish yellow to whitish yellow with a darker tip, 1-1,5 cm (rarely up to 2,2 cm) long.
Flower: Funnel-shaped, white with pale pink throat, 3,5-5,5 cm (rarely up to 6,5 cm) long and 3,5-5,5 cm in diameter.
Fruit: Barrel shaped green to dull red, 1,5-2(-3) cm long and 1,5-2 cm in diameter.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Gymnocalycium ochoteranae group
- Gymnocalycium intermedium Piltz non Hildm.: has squat dull grey-green or blue green epidermis, and usually 3 spines. Distribution: East of Salsacate, Cordoba, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae Backeb.: (ssp. ochoterenae) It has 3-5 recurving radial spines. Distribution: Widespread in Cordoba, and San Luis, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. cinereum Backeb.: (ssp. ochoterenae) has pale to dark greyish-green stem (often brown coloured in ochoterenae) and cream-white flowers. Distribution: San Francisco Del Monte De Oro, San Luis, Argentina
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subs. herbsthoferianum H.Till & Neuhuber: It has 6-7 pectinate radial spines; it occurs near Lujan, San Luis.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae var. scoparium H.Till & Neuhuber: (ssp. ochoterenae) has longer light coloured brushy spines, longer spherical stems, and most prominent tubercles. Distribution: west of Quines (base of Lujan mountains), San Luis, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subs. vatteri (Buining) Papsch: It has only 1-3 recurved spines. Distribution: it occurs in Cordoba.
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) Curt Backeberg “Die Cactaceae: Handbuch der Kakteenkunde” Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart New York 1982–1985
5) Demaio, P., Trevisson, M. & Perea, M. 2013. Gymnocalycium ochoterenae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T152075A594369. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T152075A594369.en. Downloaded on 29 March 2016.
Cultivation and Propagation: Gymnocalycium ochoterenae is a summer grower species that is easy to cultivate.
Growth rate: It is a slow growing but easily flowering species.
Soils: It likes very porous standard cactus mix soil. Prefer a low pH compost, avoid substrata rich in limestone; otherwise growth will stop altogether.
Repotting: This plant needs plenty of space for its roots, repotting should be done every other year or when the it has outgrown its pot. Use pot with good drainage.
Watering: Needs moderate to copious waterings in summer, but do not overwater (Rot prone), keep dry in winter at a minimum temperature of 0°C.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Hardiness: Reputedly resistant to frost if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather (hardy to -5 C ° C, or less for short periods).
Exposition: The plant tolerates extremely bright situations but enjoys filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Tends to bronze in strong light, which encourages flowering and heavy spine production, but is likely to suffer from sun scorch or stunted growth if over exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in summer.
Uses: It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small. It look fine in a cold greenhouse and frame or outdoor in a rockery.
Pests & diseases: It may be attractive to a variety of insects, but plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free, particularly if they are grown in a mineral potting-mix, with good exposure and ventilation. Nonetheless, there are several pests to watch for:
- Red spiders: Red spiders may be effectively rubbed up by watering the plants from above.
- Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs occasionally develop aerial into the new growth among the wool with disfiguring results, but the worst types develop underground on the roots and are invisible except by their effects.
- Scales: Scales are rarely a problem.
- Rot: This species is particularly easy and accommodating, seldom suffer of cryptogamic diseases. Rot it is only a minor problem with gymnocalyciums if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Division, direct sow after last frost. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21-27° C in spring, remove gradually the glass cover as soon the plants will be well rooted (ca 1-2 weeks) and keep ventilated, no full sun for young plants! To make a cutting twist off a branch and permit it to dry out a couple of weeks, lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the soil. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward.
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