Possibly not a beginners plant but one worth striving to grow. Although it has a number of different forms I think it is difficult to mistake this for any other cactus.

Its distribution range extends from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona in the United States into Mexico from the State of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas, Queretaro and Guanajuato. It prefers to grow on flat areas at an altitude of between six and 1600 metres where summer temperatures can exceed 50˚C.

E horizonthalonius grows with a large array of other cacti from many different genera and one wonders why it is so difficult to cultivate, but trust me it is. They are extremely slow in growth taking many years to attain flowering size.

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Fig 1 Grown from habitat seed.

Their cultivation should be in a well-drained humus poor compost with the maximum amount of sunshine possible, and with adequate ventilation. With a very free-draining soil, watering should be the same as all other cacti. They should also be kept with a winter minimum temperature of 5˚C, however 10˚C would be better.

As with many cacti and other succulents, the Japanese have produced many stunning cultivars with Echinocactus horizonthalonius being no exception. They are usually grafted to enhance their growth rate, which will still be a slow process – but well worth the effort.

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 Fig 2 A particularly dark bodied, black spined cultivar named 'Kuritoge-kaouxraitei'.

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Fig 3 A thick short spined form, really beautiful, which goes under the name of 'Taimeonari',

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Fig 4 This one has long straight spines, again a very stunning plant, whose name is 'Taineiaro'.


It would be impossible to receive any translations of these as, unlike let's say Haworthias, I am not sure pollination details would be available, and of course there are many more for the collector to seek out as the natural plants have such a large distribution.

Stirling Baker

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