forming cactus. Forms large groups up to 80cm in diameter.
Stem: Green globular or elonged 8- 15 cm tall, 3-6 cm in
Ribs: 7-14 straight or spiralling.
Tubercles: Conical with rounded tip, 8-11 mm tall,. 10-14 mm
Areoles: Elonged 6 x 3 mm wide, spaced 4-6 mm. Positioned on the
top of the tubercle and furnished with
Central spines: 0-1, upright, yellowish-white to almost black,
9-50 mm long.
Radial spines: 6-20 short (5-7 mm long) star-shapes moderately
recurved, yellowish-white becoming reddish to greyish as they age.
Flowers: Diurnal, funnel-shaped 2,5-5,2 cm long, 2-4,5 cm in
diameter, the colour varies from pale yellow to pink depending on the
variety and clone. They are produced on the apex of the youngest
tubercles and are furnished by scales. Filament yellowish-green, anthers
yellow, style pale magenta with 5-6 stigmatic lobes.
Blooming season: The Thelocactus leucacanthus blooms at the
end of spring. The flowers last for several days but close every night.
Fruit: Furnished of scales, green to yellowish sub spherical 6-9
mm in diameter that dry at maturity. Dehisces basally and conserve the
Pyriform black, 1,4-2 mm long, 1-1,8 mm in diameter.
The subspecies 'leucacanthus'
has yellow flowers, and the subspecies 'schmollii'
has violet to carmine red flowers, both live at lower altitudes, and
ssp. schmollii with large tubercles rather than distinct ribs, looks
more like a Coryphantha than it does a Thelocactus.
Cultivation: It is a summer
grower species easy to cultivate. Water regularly from Spring to Autumn,
but do not overwater, can become too elongated if compost is too rich.
Requires full sun or light shade and careful watering to keep plant
compact with strong coloured spines. Needs good drainage and very porous
potting mix, In Winter, keep dry.
Reproduction: From seed or by cuttings as it produces
many basal plantlets.