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   The Genus Strombocactus:

The genus Strombocactus (A.P. de Candolle) Briton & Rose 1922

It is monospecific, only consists of Strombocactus disciformis (A.P of Candolle) Briton & Rose 1922, not without certain controversy. This is because in 1996 was discovered the subspecies esperanzae by Glass & Arias, but days before its publication in Great Britain, was published in Slovakia its description like Strombocactus pulcherrimus by Halda as if it was a different species. Therefore, if we follow Halda they are two species, and if we follow Glass and Arias we are speaking of only one species with two subspecies, position that has prevailed.

Strombocactus disciformis

 Its name derives from the Greek "strombos", cone-pine, by its spiral conical form, and of Latin "disciformis" by its aspect, as a disc.

 Strombocactus disciformis grows in Mexico, in Querétaro, Hidalgo and Guanajuato. It grows on limestone walls, almost vertical to a height between the 1000 and 1600m., in several localities, but is not abundant in any place, reason why it is included in the AP. I of CITES.

 The philogenetic studies of the DNA in Cacteae of Charles A. Butterworth, J. Hugo Level-Sanchez and Robert S. Wallace (2002) locate the Strombocactus next to Pediocactus, Turbinicarpus and Ariocarpus.

  Its stem can be squashed or semi-globular, that gets to extend in the underground part, it can reach 15cm of diameter. The roots are long and narrow, to take hold itself to the rocky walls. The tubercles are overlapped, squashed and above keel-shaped down. The areolas are apical. The spines, from 1 to 4, are bent towards inside in subsp. disciformis and rights in subsp. esperanzae.

Strombocactus disciformis spps. esperanzae

 The flowers appear in the center of the plant, in form of funnel of great color cream and (until  3,2cm of diameter) in subsp. disciformis, and magenta and smaller (until 1,7cm of diameter) in subsp. esperanzae.

Strombocactus disciformis polytomic form

 The fruit is of magenta color, dehiscent laterally. The seeds are very small, of brown color.

 Its culture is difficult, very slow from seeds, reason why usually it is grafted, mainly subsp. esperanzae. On its own root it requires a mineral substratum with very good drainage.

  By Vicente Bueno, Insigne Dr. Good de Cactus Center Club


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