This is the tiniest crested form of the famous "Golden Barrel Cactus". A
dwarf form covered by touch friendly spines and looking quite dissimilar
to the standard species.
Description: This is a very
nice crested cactus, easily recognizable for its short yellowish bristly soft
spines. The standard "Golden Barrel Cactus" (E. grusonii) is a
large spherical barrel cactus with imposing strong yellow spines,
and one of one of the more common an known cacti. This species is widely
cultivated and gave rise to a number of different cultivars, monstrose
and crested forms. The E. grusonii forma minor cristata -
here described - is the smallest and delicate crested variant, quite rare in collection and priced
for its reduced size and touch friendly covering of soft spines, it will
form tangled brain-like green mounds
and can reach a considerable size (up to 30 cm tall and in diameter, or
Spines: It has few short and more or less twisted
bristly, glassy pale-yellowhis
spines all quite similar in shape,
loosely cover the surface of the stems.
conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of
forma minor cristata
Garden origin (Nursery
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Vernacular Names: Crested Golden barrel cactus (dwarf form) also
known as Golden ball cactus, Mother-in-law's-seat, Mother-in-law's-cushion.
This is a different and very rare
cultivar, with short thin spines.
Cultivation: It is of easy cultivation. Require
full sun or
The plants on their own roots
should be kept in a deep pot with a very draining mineral substrate. But
be particularly careful with watering, which all crested plant require
(rot sensitive). Keep dry during the winter rest. Since they are rapid
growers, and need plenty of space for their roots, repotting should be
done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot.
plants are easy to grow and will form a large brain-like mounds
with age. Watering during the active growing season (spring and
summer); this will encourage steady growth, and prevent the crest from becoming flabby.
Cultural Practices: It need
a well drained soil mix. Water
generously during the
summer but allow to dry fully before
watering again. During the winter months they should be kept rather dry.
cause of cresting: The cause of cresting is not fully explained.
as to why some plants grow in this unusual form.
speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of
a strike of
lightning or freeze damage, but whatever the stimulus, the growth
point of the stem has switched from a geometric point, to a line, which
folds and undulates as the crest expands. Though these crested E.
grusonii are rare, cresting occurs naturally, and can be
encountered in many other cactus species.