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Origin and Habitat: Northeast Laredo into McMullen County, then southeast to Alice, south to near Edinburg, back to Laredo, South Texas, USA and Mexico (Northern Tamaulipas and Northern Nuevo Leon)
Altitude: Around 400 metres above sea level.
Habitat: It grows on light, sandy, limestone loam, usually well hidden under chaparral bushes or tall Opuntias, together with: Stenocereus pruinosus, Hylocereus trigonus and Echinocereus blanckii.
- Echinocereus papillosus Linke ex Rümpler
Echinocereus papillosus Linke ex Rümpler
Handb. Cacteenk. (ed. 2 - Rümpler) ed. 2, 783. 1885
- Echinocereus papillosus Linke ex Rümpler
- Cereus papillosus (Linke ex Rümpler) A.Berger
- Echinocereus berlandieri var. papillosus (Linke ex Rümpler) L.D.Benson
- Echinocereus blanckii var. papillosus (Linke ex Rümpler) L.D.Benson
- Echinocereus papillosus var. angusticeps (Clover) W.T.Marshall
- Echinocereus angusticeps Clover
- Echinocereus berlandieri var. angusticeps (Clover) L.D.Benson
- Echinocereus papillosus subs. angusticeps hort.
- Echinocereus papillosus f. cristatus hort.
- Echinocereus papillosus var. giganteus
- Echinocereus rungei K.Schum.
- Echinocereus texensis C.Runge
ENGLISH: Yellow Alicoche, Yellow-flowered Alicoche
Description: Echinocereus papillosus is a low growing cactus with extremely attractive and impressive blooms. The flowers are bright yellow, 10-12 cm wide, with a red throat in spring.
Habit: It is more or less cespitose typically with about 10-12 stems (but often only 2 or 3).
Stem: Small, cylinder-shaped, usually erect but sometimes decumbent or ascending, and sprawling, basally branching, pale to dark green (tan colour in full sun), 5-30 cm long, 2-4 cm thick.
Ribs: 6 to 10, prominent, extremely notched.
Tubercles: Conical about 1 cm high, with areoles on tip, 10-12 mm apart, separated by deep valleys which almost interrupt ribs continuity.
Areoles: Small, bare.
Radial spines: About 7-11, acicular, stright, bristle-like, round, from bulbous bases, spreading, dull white to yellow, 10-12 mm. long or less, upper 2-3 much shorter.
Central spines: Solitary, acicular, porrect, with very bulbous base, perpendicular to stem surface, 12-18 mm long or more, dull white to yellow or brown often with dark brown base, yellow zone in middle, brown tip..
Flowers: Extremely attractive and impressive and delicately fragrant. Bright yellow, 12 cm wide, with a red throat, with rather few perianth-segments 4 to 6 cm long, oblong-spatulate, acuminate, more or less serrate. Ovary covered with red scales and white spines up to 6 mm long.. Filaments reddish; anthers light yellow. Style white 10-13 mm broad, stigma lobes green.
Blooming season: Spring (early April-May).
Fruits: A small green berry covered with short bristles.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echinocereus papillosus group
- Echinocereus papillosus Linke ex Rümpler: more or less cespitose with 2-12 stems 5- 30 cm long, 2-4 cm thick. Flowers bright yellow, 12 cm wide, with a red throat. Distribution: South Texas, USA.
- Echinocereus papillosus var. angusticeps (Clover) W.T.Marshall: forms clusters of 12-50 stems. Stems 7-12 cm long, 2-3 cm thick. Flowers up to 10 cm greenish-yellow, with a paler red throat. Distribution: Texas (Hidalgo and Starr County) and Mexico (Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon )
- Echinocereus papillosus f. cristatus hort.: Crested form.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) 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
2) David Hunt, Nigel Taylor “The New Cactus Lexicon” DH Books, 2006
3) Edward F. Anderson “The Cactus Family” Timber Press, 2001
4) Nathaniel Lord Britton, Joseph Nelson Rose “Cactaceae: Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family” Volume 3, 1922
5) Paul S Martin, Davis Yetman, Mark Fishbein, Phil Jenkins, Thomas R. van Devender, & Rebecca K. Wilson "Gentry's Río Mayo Plants: The Tropical Deciduous Forest & Environs of Northwest Mexico" University of Arizona Press, 1998
6) Natt Noyes Dodge, Jeanne R. Janish "Flowers of the Southwest Deserts" Western National Parks Association, 01/gen/1985
7) Del Weniger "Cacti of the Southwest: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana" University of Texas Press, 1969
8) Del Weniger "Cacti of Texas and Neighboring States: A Field Guide" University of Texas Press, 1984
Cultivation and Propagation: In culture Echinocereus papillosus is without problems, easy to grow, very attractive and regularly shows its beautiful flowers, if provided with an adequate winter rest period.
Soil: It grows well in a rich, well drained soil such us clay, pumice, lava grit, and only a little peat or leaf-mould, but it isn't picky about soil.
Repotting: If potted, repot them preferably in the spring, if their roots become cramped. Generally, they should be repotted every other year in order to provide fresh soil. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll need larger containers. Fill about a quarter of the pot with broken crocks, gravel, etc. to promote good drainage. After repotting, do not water for a week or more. Use pot with good drainage.
Moisture: It is sensitive to over-watering (rot prone), and needs good drainage. In the winter keep it cool, and absolutely dry conditions. In summer keep it well watered when it's hot. If the soil is allowed to be dry for too long root loss could follow but equally the same result would occur if the plants are both wet and cold. From March onward the plant will begin to grow and watering should be increased gradually until late May when the plant should be in full growth.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer. Feeding may not be necessary at all if the compost is fresh then, feed in summer only if the plant hasn't been repotted recently. Do not feed the plants from September onward as this can cause lush growth which can be fatal during the darker cold months.
Exposure: In the summer they need an airy location in bright or partial sun. To achieve the best spine density give these plants lots of sun.
Hardiness: It is quite frost hardy -7° C or less for short periods of time.
In mild climate they grow well when planted freely outside in well-drained soil. They need to be kept in a cool place during winter rest (at -5 +10°C) this is important for the flowers as well as for their health. Without this cool winter period they normally wont get any buds.
Diseases and pests: Watch for infestations of mealybugs, scale insects and spider mite. Rot is only a minor problem with cacti if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Seeds are the only way of reproducing, remembering that seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions and need to be repotted frequently. Seed Collecting: Permit fruit to ripen. Fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds. It is also can be grown from cuttings, as it can branch from the base.
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