Happy #FlowerPowerFriday chubby-plant lovers! Thanks so much to @roachpk for tagging us in this shot of an absolutely perfect Hedgehog Cactus bloom!
Echinopsis is a large genus of cacti native to South America, with 128 species ranging widely from large, treelike types to small globose cacti! The common name is taken from the Greek words "echinos" meaning hedgehog or sea urchin, and "opsis" referring to their appearance, densely covered in spines! This is a fairly new genus and a re-conglomeration of several species. Many cacti have similar blooms, but Echinopsis can be distinguished from Echinocactus by the length of the flower tubes, from Cereus by the form and size of their stems, and from both in the position the flowers bloom on the cacti! The specific species seen today, Echinopsis Subdenudata, has a globular shape, small stature, relatively few spines, and produces stunning, large, white flowers born on long, green tubes! These flowers appear much grander and more attractive than would be expected from such a small cacti! And these stunning blooms grow FAST! Each bloom develops completely in less than a month, and opens for only one day !
Echinopsis can be grown in a wide array of climates, handling humidity and tolerating cold temperatures (but not frost) well during the winter months! They can be grown outdoors year round in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b-11b and survive to around 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 C). Echinopsis not only tolerate cold temperatures, they actually enjoy a cold period during the winter months and go almost dormant in most climates! This cold period, with temperatures around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (10-5 C) is part of the key to stimulate blooming the following year !
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