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Accepted Scientific Name: Rebutia narvaecensis (Cárdenas) Donald
Ashingtonia 1(2): 21. 1973
Origin and Habitat: Bolivia. Narvaez (Department of Tarija, O'Connor Province)
Altitude range: 1800 -3000
Description: Rebutia narvaecensis is a small clustering cactus, branching at ground level to form low groups or mounds up to about 15 cm wide. It forms a showy bouquet of pale rose-pink flowers from the lower half of the almost globular, softly spined stems. The myriads of flowers sometimes completely hides the plant. They are very floriferous.
Rebutia narvaecensis is sometime included within (as a synonym of) Rebutia fiebrigii. The plants of R. narvaecensis are generally quite uniform.
Stems: Globose, greenish-grey, slightly depressed apically, 3-3.5 cm high, 2.5-3.5 cm thick, with fibrous roots.
Ribs: 18-22, arranged in spirals and forming low tubercles approx. 4 mm wide and 2 mm high.
Areoles: Circular, prominent, l, 1.5-2 mm long and 1 mm wide, creamy white to brownish.
Spines: 10-30, hardly distinguishable as radials or centrals , thin, needle-like, straight, spreading, whitish to yellowish, 2-3(-5) mm long. Central spines up to 6 sometimes somewhat darker.
Flowers: Often numerous, borne on the sides of the stems from older areoles, whitish pink, to pale rose pink, 4-4.2(-4.5) cm long and in diameter with a thin tube. Flower bud spherical, 3-4 mm wide, pink, covered with tiny, dark pink scales, white haird and several yellowish bristles.
Tube noticeably thin, only 2-2.5 mm wide, about 22 mm long, outside pale pink, covered as well as a the flower bud by scales. Outer perianth segments lanceolate, up to 20 mm long and 5 mm wide, pink or white with a medium pink strip. Inner perianth segments slightly longer and wider, lighter to white. Stamens white, protruding 7-10 mm from the top of the flower tube. Anthers light yellow. Style about 25 mm long, white, protruding at least 10 mm, from the flower tube. Stigma-lobes 6-7 light yellow, exerted above the level of the highest anthers.
Fruits: Spherical, about 4 mm large, pinkish brown, covered with several scales.
Seeds: Brown-black, hemispherical to helmet-shaped with large basal hilum.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Rebutia fiebrigii group
- Rebutia albipilosa F.Ritter: "White-haired Crown" It is a plant from northern Argentina.The body is made invisible by countless long, soft, hair-like white spines.It produces vibrant orange-red flowers.
- Rebutia archibuiningiana F.Ritter: The body is made invisible by glassy-white to yellowish, silky, short spines. It produces vibrant orange-red flowers. Distribution: Tarija, Bolivia.
- Rebutia cintiensis F.Ritter
- Rebutia donaldiana A.B.Lau & G.D.Rowley: "Donald’s Red Crown"n" It develops a dense clump of small, dark heads with brown spines which make a perfect backdrop for the small, dark orange-red, numerous flowers. It quickly begins to form a large, tight mound and it then proceeds to hide it all under a dense blanket of its flowers.
- Rebutia fiebrigii (Gürke) Britton & Rose in L.H.Bailey & L.H.Bailey: "Flame Crown" It’s a Bolivian mountain cactus, found at 3600m altitude, and therefore very hardy. It forms a cylinder about 6cm diameter and 10cm tall with few offsets and it produces striking, flame-red flowers over a long season.
- Rebutia fiebrigii var. azurduyensis (J.de Vries): has yellowish to brownish, silky, short spines and peculiar white blooms. Distribution: Azurduy to La Angostura, Bolivia.
- Rebutia fiebrigii var. densiseta (Cullmann) Oeser: has stronger and very dense brownish spines. Distribution: Chuquisaca, Bolivia.
- Rebutia fiebrigii var. vulpes F.Ritter
- Rebutia flavistyla F.Ritter
- Rebutia hoffmannii Diers & Rausch: similar to Rebutia spinosissima, with denser, very fine, tight, white spines, with brownish tips, and outer petals with purple-reddish shades. Distribution: Argentina (Salta) and Bolivia (Tarija).
- Rebutia ithyacantha (Cárdenas) Diers
- Rebutia jujuyana Rausch
- Rebutia kieslingii Rausch
- Rebutia lateritia n.n.: has brick red flowers. Distribution: Potosi to Ballestro, Bolivia.
- Rebutia muscula F.Ritter & Thiele: "Little Mouse" It comes from south Bolivia; it is distinguished by its soft white spination and orange flowers and it blooms heavily in May, continuing until September/October with always at least a few flowers. It is especially desirable for the small size of its main body, with the offsets held closely, usually in a pattern reminiscent of a classical sculpture.
- Rebutia narvaecensis (Cárdenas) Donald: has 10-30 thin, needle-like whitish to yellowish pines, 2-5 mm long, and numerous pale pink flowers. Distribution: Bolivia. Narvaez (Department of Tarija, O'Connor Province)
- Rebutia pulchella Rausch
- Rebutia pulchella var. prolifera Rausch
- Rebutia simoniana Rausch
- Rebutia sp. Huari Huari
- Rebutia vallegrandensis Cárdenas
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) John Pilbeam “Rebutia” Cirio Pub. Services, p. 60, 01 May 1997
3) 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. Online resource: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=908302
4) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
5) Cactos "Guia prático" NBL Editora, 1998
6) Backeberg, Curt; Haage, Walter “Das Kakteenlexikon” p. 461, 1977
7) Donald, John Donald; Brederoo, A. J. “The Classification of the Rebutias” Ashingtonia, 3: 140, 1979
8) Říha, Jan “Rebutia narvaezensis, nejkrásnější rebucie” Kakt. Sukk., Bratislava 1984
9) Říha, Jan “Atlas kaktusů”, tab. 37, 1986
10) Šída, Otakar “Rod Rebutia”, p. 70, 1997
11) Wikipedie: Otevřená encyklopedie: Rebutia narvaecensis [online]. c2016 [citováno 20. 04. 2017]. Dostupný z WWW: <https://cs.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rebutia_narvaecensis&oldid=14418912>
Rebutia espinosae var. v.albiflora (Rebutia narvaecensis) Photo by: Peiffer Clement
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Cultivation and Propagation: Rebutia fiebrigii comes from mountainous areas, so like bright light, and cool and dry conditions in the winter. The whole Rebutia fiebrigii complex has delightful flowers and the plants remain compact, and clumps can easily be managed by division. It is easy to cultivate and recommended for beginners.
Growth rate: It is a slow growing but easily flowering species that will make clumps given the best conditions.
Soils: This species is easy to cultivate in a very open mineral mix with at least 50% sand or pumice grit and a pH slightly on the acidic side.
Repotting: They are small container size plants and prefer deep pots and good drainage to accommodate their tap roots, but they rot prone, because of the sensitivity to excess of watering, not easy to get to any large size on their own roots (it's really a challenge to grow them into a large clump). They will occupy a small pot comfortably, and eventually remain a manageable sized house plant. It is better that they are repotted regularly. Repotting will increase the number and size of stems, and will increase the number of flowers produced. Repot yearly until they reach about 100 mm in size, then every two or three years will suffice. Repotting is best done at the end of winter, but can be done at other times, too. Do not water for a couple of weeks after repotting, to reduce risk of root rot via broken roots. A layer of 'pea' gravel at the bottom of the pot improves drainage. A layer of decorative gravel as a top dressing helps prevent the caking of the potting mix, which decreases the rate of water absorption. It also keeps the perlite and pumice from blowing everywhere, and looks nice.
Watering: It requires full sun or light shade and careful watering to keep plant compact, and maintain strong and dense spines and allow the pot to dry out between waterings. Keep dry in winter at a minimum temperature of 0°C. It tends to rot if too wet. The plants can be placed outdoors in April, but protected from rain and direct sunlight. Water them thoroughly when placed out, and again in two weeks, and again in one week. After one month the plants are ready to be placed out in full sun and full rain for the summer. During dry spells the collection is watered once a week, during hot dry spells, twice a week.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Hardiness: It is reputedly resistant to frost if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather and requires a winter rest period (hardy to -7° C, or less for short periods). Rebutias grow in nature at high altitudes, and do not thrive well at high temperatures in cultivation. They will often go dormant in mid-summer, and resume growth again when the weather cools in late August. They can tolerate amazingly low temperatures for long periods of time. All species can take a frost, even when not bone dry. It is generally accepted that plants kept at too high a temperature, or watered too much during the winter rest period, will not bloom the following year. They will be perfectly happy in pots outdoors from April to September if protected from torrential rain and hail.
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 a fine plant for a rock garden or container, contrasts well with agaves, yuccas, and low-growing flowering plants. This variety is also likely to flower as a house plant, but results will depend on a variety of growing conditions.
Pests & diseases: All, especially the young, are susceptible to red spider mites.
Rot: It is especially prone to root rot, therefore, underpot in a smaller container filled with very porous compost. However rot it is only a minor problem with rebutias if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Offsets, seeds. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21-27° C in spring or summer 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! The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted, after which they can be planted separately in small pots. 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.
Note: It would appear that in cultivation they grow larger and cluster more vigorously than in habitat.
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