Cactus Culture for Amateurs eBook

William Watson (poet)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about Cactus Culture for Amateurs.

[Illustration:  Fig. 51.—­Echinopsis eyriesii flore-pleno.]

E. E. glauca (hoary-grey).  This variety differs from the type in the absence of the dark brown hairs from the flower-tube, which is also shorter than in E. Eyriesii.  Probably a native of Mexico.

E. oxygonus (sharp-angled).—­This is very similar to E. Eyriesii.  Stem globular in shape, and divided into about fourteen acute-edged ridges, upon which are tufts of brown spines, varying from 1/2 in. to 11/2 in. in length.  Flower 8 in. long, the tube slightly curved, covered with little scales and hairs, and coloured green and red.  The petals form an incurved cup, and are broad, with pointed tips; their colour a bright rose, with a lighter shade towards the centre of the flower.  As in E. Eyriesii, the flowers of this kind are borne several together from the ridges near the growing centre of the stem.  It is a native of Brazil, whence it was introduced nearly half a century ago.  It thrives in an intermediate house, if treated as advised for E. Eyriesii, and its flowers will develop in summer.  The extraordinary size and beauty of the blossoms are sufficient to compensate for their comparatively short duration after expanding; it is also interesting to watch the gradual development of the tiny, hairy cone, which is the first sign of the flower, and which increases in length and size at a surprising rate.

E. Pentlandi (Pentland’s); Fig. 52.—­A pretty little species, with a globose stem 3 in. in diameter, divided into about a dozen rounded ridges, which are undulated or broken up into irregular tubercles, when the ridges do not run parallel with each other.  Each tubercle is crowned with a tuft of brown, bristle-like spines, 1/2 in. or so long.  The flowers are large in proportion to the size of the plant, the tube being 4 in. long, and trumpet-shaped; petals arranged in several overlapping rows and forming a cup 2 in. across, the lowest whorl turning downwards; in colour, they are a brilliant red, the stamens white, and the stigmas yellow.  Three or four flowers are often expanded together on the same stem, springing from the side instead of the top of the plant.  Native of Mexico (?); introduced about 1840.  There are several distinct seedling or hybrid forms of this species, remarkable in having the colour of their flowers either red, yellow and white, or white, whilst some, such as the one known as flammea, have flowers only 2 in. long.  These kinds may all be grown in a sunny greenhouse or window, as they only require protection from frost.  They may be placed out of doors in summer, and be kept under glass only during winter, treatment which will result in better growth and more flowers than if the plants were kept permanently under glass.

[Illustration:  Fig. 52.—­Echinopsis Pentlandi.]

E. P. longispinus (long-spined); Fig. 53.—­This is a long-spined form, and differs also in the shape of the stem, which is oblong, rather than globose.

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Cactus Culture for Amateurs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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