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Accepted Scientific Name: Gymnocalycium hybopleurum (K.Schum.) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
Kaktus-ABC [Backeb. & Knuth] 289. 1936 [12 Feb 1936] Backeb., F.M.Knuth
Origin and Habitat: Argentina Northwest (Catamarca).
Type Locality: Sierra de Ancasti, 600-700m
Gymnocalycium hybopleurum (K.Schum.) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
Kaktus-ABC [Backeb. & Knuth] 289. 1936 [12 Feb 1936]
- Gymnocalycium hybopleurum (K.Schum.) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
- Echinocactus multiflorus var. hybopleurus K.Schum.
- Gymnocalycium multiflorum var. hybopleurum (K.Schum.) P.Fourn.
- Gymnocalycium ambatoense Piltz
- Gymnocalycium ambatoense subs. plesnikii Halda & Milt
- Gymnocalycium catamarcense subs. acinacispinum H.Till & W.Till
- Gymnocalycium catamarcense subs. schmidianum H.Till & W.Till
- Gymnocalycium curvispinum var. acuticostatum hort.
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum Backeb.
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum f. carmineum H.Till
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum var. densispinum Backeb. ex H.Till
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum var. simoi H.Till
Gymnocalycium hybopleurum var. centrispinum Backeb.
Kakteenlexikon 168. 1966 (nom. inval. Art. 8.2)
Description: Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum f. carmineum is an interesting pink flowering form of Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum that, in turn, is one of the several species of the very variable Gymnocalycium hybopleurum which form a complex of related taxon. It is still unclear whether this variable complex is one or several species. There is so much variation that most authors choose to lump them together until further studies are done.
Taxonomy note: G. Charles (2009) speculated that Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum f. carmineum might be a form of Gymnocalycium oenanthemum, but part for the pink flowers it does not differ from the standard Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum. However it is not clear if it is simply a pink-flowering form of the species, or whether it is a natural hybrid with Gymnocalycium oenanthemum. (Perhaps the deviant flower colour was created by "introgression", i.e. by the back-crossing of a natural hybrid from Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum and Gymnocalycium oenanthemum with Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum - but this is only a vague presumption.) It could also be interpreted as a transitional form between the two species.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Gymnocalycium hybopleurum group
- Gymnocalycium curvispinum Frič: has strong curved spines. Distribution: Villa Dolores to Sierra Ancasti, Catamarca, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium curvispinum var. acuticostatum hort.: has strong curved spines and the very prominent acute chinlike protrusions on the ribs, and flowers often pink or orangish. Distribution: Catamarca, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium hybopleurum (K.Schum.) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth: is a strongly-spined and variable species, usually solitary in habitat. Distribution: Catamarca and Cordoba, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum Backeb.: has solitary stems with large black areoles. The flowers are white, with a greenish to reddish throat. Distribution: around the town of Catamarca, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum f. carmineum H.Till: has reddish-pink flowers with a darker throat. Western slopes of the Sierra de Ancasti, Catamarca, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum var. densispinum Backeb. ex H.Till: the stem forms basal shoots. Distribution: Catamarca, north of the town near El Jumeal Reservoir, Catamarca, Argentina.
- Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum var. simoi H.Till: the radial spines are more or less pectinated. Distribution: Palo Labrado, south of La Merced, Catamarca, Argentina.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) J.G. Lambert “Cacti of Argentina” 2nd edition Revised and supplemented 1997 <https://www.cactuspro.com/biblio_fichiers/pdf/Lambert/LambertEN.pdf>
2) Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum Backeb. <http://www.atlas.catamarca.gob.ar/PDF/unidades%20tematicas/territorio%20y%20medio%20ambiente/eco%20regiones/Publicaciones/Cactus/nombre/gymnnigr.htm>
3) “Notes on the 1967 Seed List W.F.M.” The Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain Vol. 29, No. 1 (FEBRUARY, 1967), pp. 16-18
4) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
5) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
6) Charles, G. 2009. “Gymnocalycium in Habitat and Culture.” Graham Charles, Stamford.
7) Pilbeam, John. “Gymnocalycium: A Collector's Guide.” A. A. BALKEMA / ROTTERDAM / BROOKFIELD / 1995
8) Preston-Mafham Rod Preston-Mafham Ken “Cacti: The Illustrated Dictionary” 1995
9) Detlef Metzing “Nacktdistel und Spinnenkaktus Die Gattung Gymnocalycium.” Sonderausgabe der Deutsche Kakteen-Gesellschaft e.V., 2012, S. 99.
10) KuaS 2/2001, S. 37 f.
11) KuaS 4/2012.
12) Karteikarte 2012/07.
Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum f. carmineum (a red stemmed form) Photo by: Alexander Arzberger
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Cultivation and Propagation: Gymnocalycium nigriareolatum f. carmineum is a summer grower species that is easy to cultivate, but it grows rather slowly.
Growth rate: It is a relatively rapidly growing and easily flowering species that will make clumps given the best conditions.
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, 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.
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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