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= Matucana variabilis Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
Descr. Cact. Nov. 19 (1957) Backeb.
Accepted Scientific Name: Matucana haynei (Otto) Britton & Rose
Cactaceae (Britton & Rose) 3: 102, fig. 109. 1922 Britton & Rose
Origin and Habitat: Ancash province, Peru.
Altitude: 2200-4000 metres above sea level.
Matucana haynei (Otto) Britton & Rose
Cactaceae (Britton & Rose) 3: 102, fig. 109. 1922
- Matucana haynei (Otto) Britton & Rose
- Arequipa haynii (Otto) Krainz in Krainz
- Borzicactus haynei (Otto) Kimnach
- Cereus haynii (Otto) Croucher
- Echinocactus haynii Otto
- Matucana blancii Backeb.
- Borzicactus haynei var. blancii (Backeb.) Donald
- Matucana breviflora Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
- Borzicactus haynei var. breviflora (Rauh & Backeb.) Donald
- Matucana multicolor var. breviflora (Rauh & Backeb.) F.Ritter
- Matucana calocephala Skarupke
- Borzicactus calocephalus (Skarupke) Donald
- Matucana cereoides Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
- Matucana crinifera F.Ritter
- Matucana crinifera f. cristata hort.
- Matucana elongata Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
- Matucana haynei var. elongata (Rauh & Backeb.) F.Ritter
- Matucana haynei var. erectipetala Rauh & Backeb.
- Arequipa haynii var. erectipetala (Rauh & Backeb.) Krainz in Krainz
- Matucana megalantha F.Ritter
- Borzicactus aurantiacus var. megalanthus (F.Ritter) Donald
- Matucana multicolor Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
- Matucana supertexta F.Ritter
- Matucana variabilis Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
- Borzicactus variabilis (Rauh & Backeb.) Donald
- Matucana variabilis var. fuscata Rauh & Backeb.
- Matucana villarica n.n.
- Matucana winteri F.Ritter
- Matucana yanganucensis Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.
Matucana haynei subs. herzogiana (Backeb.) Mottram
Cactaceae Consensus Init. 3: 11. 1997
- Matucana haynei subs. herzogiana (Backeb.) Mottram
- Matucana herzogiana Backeb.
- Matucana herzogiana var. perplexa Backeb.
Matucana haynei subs. hystrix (Rauh & Backeb.) Mottram
Cactaceae Consensus Init. 3: 11. 1997
- Matucana haynei subs. hystrix (Rauh & Backeb.) Mottram
- Borzicactus haynei var. hystrix (Rauh & Backeb.) Donald
- Matucana hystrix Rauh & Backeb.
- Matucana multicolor var. hystrix (Rauh & Backeb.) F.Ritter
- Matucana haynei subs. hystrix var. atrispina Rauh & Backeb.
Matucana haynei subs. myriacantha (Vaupel) Mottram
Cactaceae Consensus Init. 3: 11. 1997
- Matucana haynei subs. myriacantha (Vaupel) Mottram
- Arequipa myriacantha Britton & Rose
- Borzicactus myriacanthus (Vaupel) Donald
- Borzicactus weberbaueri var. myriacanthus (Vaupel) Donald
- Echinocactus myriacanthus Vaupel
- Matucana myriacantha (Vaupel) Buxb.
- Submatucana myriacantha (Vaupel) Backeb.
- Matucana comacephala F.Ritter
- Matucana huarinensis hort.
- Matucana huarinensis var. brevispina hort.
- Matucana huarinensis var. brunispina hort.
- Matucana myriacantha f. purpureoalba (F.Ritter) Lodé
- Matucana purpureoalba F.Ritter
- Matucana myriacantha f. roseoalba (hort., F.Ritter) Lodé
- Matucana roseoalba hort., F.Ritter
Description: Matucana variabilis is one of the geographical form of the widespread and morphologically variable Matucana haynei. Many of its morphological and geographical variant was early classified as different independent species, but nowadays all this plant are considered part of a multiform species, where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics. Matucana variabilis is clearly part of the Matucana haynei group. It has thin variable spines (cream to amber coloured) suggesting the epithet.
Stem: Globular or slightly cylindrical approx 8 cm tall
Spines: Very numerous that cover completely the epidermis,.
Radial spines: 20-25 (or more) bristly flexible, short, white, creaminess-yellow or amber coloured with a darker tips.
Central spines: 1-10 creamish, yellowish to orange-pink, stouter and acicular.
Flowers: Glossy pink and white tubular and zigomorphyc.
Blooming season: Throughout late Spring or early Summer often in several flushes over a long period.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Matucana haynei group
- Matucana comacephala F.Ritter: (subs. myriacantha) has solitary globular to cylindrical stems with cream-coloured spines and large pink to sometimes orange-red blossoms. Distribution: Ancash, Cordillera blanca, Peru.
- Matucana crinifera F.Ritter: (subs. haynei) stem densely covered by yellowish-white, hair-like spines and showy blossoms, white at the bottom pinkir to red on top. Distribution: Machac, Ancash, Peru.
- Matucana crinifera f. cristata hort.: (subs. haynei) Crested form.
- Matucana haynei (Otto) Britton & Rose: (subs. haynei) has stems to 30 cm high and at least 30 spines: Distribution: Matucana.
- Matucana haynei subs. herzogiana (Backeb.) Mottram: usually less than 10 cm high with relatively few, more or less curved, setaceous spines. Distribution: Cordillera Negra.
- Matucana haynei subs. hystrix (Rauh & Backeb.) Mottram: has cylindrical stems to 30 cm high, 4 distinct dark brown central spines, and numerous radials. Distribution: Nazca, Ica, and Lucanas, Ayacucho.
- Matucana haynei subs. hystrix var. atrispina Rauh & Backeb.: like Matucana haynei subs. hystrix but with more robust blackish spines, ash-grey and conspicuously swollen at the base. Distribution: Nazca to Lucamas and adjacent areas, southern Peru.
- Matucana haynei subs. myriacantha (Vaupel) Mottram: has very short stems, rarely more than 8 cm high, and as many as 10 central spines and 25 radials. Distibution: above Balsas, Cajamarca.
- Matucana herzogiana var. perplexa Backeb.: similar to Matucana haynei subs. herzogiana, but with more numerous and longer spines. The flowers are bright red and zygomorphic. Distribution: Cordillera Negra, Peru
- Matucana multicolor Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.: has multicoloured spination. The central spines ranges from amber, to black-brown, to black-violet, or nearly white. Distribution: Nazca-Puquio road at about 4,100m ASL.
- Matucana myriacantha f. roseoalba (hort., F.Ritter) Lodé: (subs. myriacantha) has dense cream coloured spines cover almost completely the plants body. Flowers are glossy pink and white, tubular and zigomorphyc.
- Matucana variabilis Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.: (subs. haynei) It has thin variable spines (cream to amber coloured) suggesting the epithet. Distribution: Ancash, Peru.
- Matucana villarica n.n.: Brewster County, Texas, USA.
- Matucana yanganucensis Rauh & Backeb. in Backeb.: (subs. haynei) Same as Matucana haynei.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) Nathaniel Lord Britton, Joseph Nelson Rose “Cactaceae: Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family” vol. 4 The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington 1923
3) 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
4) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books.
Borzicactus variabilis (Matucana variabilis) Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More...
Cultivation and Propagation: It is a summer-growing species of relatively easy cultivation. This plant is adapted to dry soils and is quite susceptible to over-watering if kept in a non ventilated place.
Growth rate: Matucanas grow slowly in their natural habitats, but in greenhouses they grow more quickly.
Soil: Grow it in a rich, open, sandy-gritty cactus compost. It needs good drainage and a deep pot to accommodate its tap root.
Repotting: Repot in the spring when the roots become cramped. Generally, these plants should be re-potted every other year, in order to provide fresh soil. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll need larger containers. After repotting, do not water for a week or more.
Exposure: It is suited for sunny-brightly exposure, but can tolerate light shade. However it will do its best only with lots of sun and become stressed with inadequate light which could result in poor growth and unnatural shape. Direct sun is also beneficial in order to get a good spine coloration.
Watering: Water sparingly and keep it completely dry during winter. Mature individuals easily rot and die especially after transplanting so be extremely cautious with watering. Keep dry in winter or when night temperatures remain below 10° C. Water it less than average if in bigger pots.
Fertilization: Feed them once during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (high potash fertilizer with a dilute low nitrogen), including all micro nutrients and trace elements diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. They thrive in poor soils and need a limited supplies of fertilizer to avoid the plants developing excess vegetation, which is easily attacked by fungal diseases.
Special need: It is suited for airy exposures. Provide very good ventilation. Nearly all problems occur as a result of overwatering and poor ventilation, especially when weather conditions are dull and cool or very humid. They must have very dry atmosphere.
Hardiness: It likes warmth (recommended minimum winter temperature 5° C) But plants kept perfectly dry but may to survive a light frost.
Pests & diseases: These cacti 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 misting the plants from above.
- Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs occasionally develop aerial into the new leaves and flowers with disfiguring results, but the worst types develop underground on the roots and are invisible except by their effects.
- Scales, thrips and aphids: These insects are rarely a problem.
- Rot: Rot is only a minor problem if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Usually propagated from seeds (seldom produces offsets). The seeds can be sown in pots of fine, well-drained sandy soil, any time during the spring when temperatures are warm. Cover the seeds with a fine layer of grit and water from below with a fungicide to prevent damping off. For the 1-2 weeks cover the pots with a sheet of glass/clear perspex to keep the humidity levels high. Remove the glass and replace it with light shade-cloth and mist once or twice a day for the next two weeks after which most seeds should have germinated. From then on mistings can be reduced to every second and then every third day as the little plants grow. The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted after which they can be planted separately in small pots.
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