Ferocactus gracilis var. gatesii is a particularly attractive cactus with remarkably spines, that differs from Ferocactus gracilis in having stems up to 1,5 m tall (occasionally up to 3 m tall), more ribs (24-32) and the central spines are shorter, curved but not hooked and only 3 mm wide. Slow growing to start, but it does well under cultivation. Suited for any rich, well drained soil in full sun throughout the year. Water during the festival growth cycle (this plant needs plenty of water). But it's necessary to avoid wetting the bodies of these plants while they are in sunlight. A wet cactus in the sun can suffer sun burning, which can lead to scars or even fungal infections and death. In winter keep completely dry at 10°C, but it can tolerate sporadic light frost.
Origin: Mexico, only known from the islets in the mouth of the Bahia de los Angeles and along the coast in the gulf of California (Smith Islands group in the Sea of Cortez).
Common Name: Bahia de los Angeles barrel cactus
Stem: Unbranched, deep green, at first globular and later cylindrical, erect, up to 1,5(or more) meters high, up to 30 wide.
Ribs: 24-32, prominent, acute, slightly expanded under areoles, 2,5 cm deep.
Areoles: Young areoles light-grey felted, oval to elliptic, 15-20 mm long, 6 mm wide constricted between the flower and the spine-bearing section, 4 cm apart or even less in old plants.
Spines: Clearly differentiated into stout colored centrals and fine, white radials.
Central spines: 7-13 in two series, reddish-brown or greyish-pink with paler tips, banded, the main 4 forming a cross, upper and lower flattened, lateral two subulate, lower longest, 2,5-4 cm(rarely up to 6 cm)long, 6-10 mm wide, rather convolute and curved but not hooked at tip.
Radial spines: 5-6(-8)whitish, spreading, 2,5-4 cm long, variable, slender, straight, flattened-setaceous, sometimes twisted.
Flowers: Diurnal, funnelform, about 4 long and 3,5 cm in diameter, reddish with darker red midveins. Ovary with widely placed scales intergrading into obtuse, red, outer perianth segments. Inner inner perianth segments linear-lanceolate, 25 mm long, 5-7 mm. wide, midstripe lavender-red, margins yellow, serrulate. Filaments numerous, red, fine, appressed against style. Style 22 mm. long, yellow and red above, stigma lobes about 9.
Blooming season: The plants usually bloom during late spring or early summer, occasionally in late summer. Solitary bees are probably the most important pollinators. Ants visit extrafloral nectarines on the plant apex and may protect the cactus from insect herbivores.
Fruit: Oblong cylindrical, yellowish, bearing broad rounded scales.
Some of the information in this description has been found at desert-tropicals.com, llifle.com and cactus-art.biz
|Blooming Season||Spring or early summer|
|Common Name||Fire barrel cactus|
|Flower||Reddish with darker red midveins|
|Growth Rate||Slow growth|
|Scientific Name||Ferocactus gracilis subs. Gatesii|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
Great looking Ferocactus
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