Notocactus leninghausii forma cristata
This species has harmless bristly golden spines.
Notocactus leninghausii (commonly known as the "Golden Ball
Cactus") is very
popular and widely grown for its yellow bristly appearance, but this beautiful
crested form is still rare in cactus collection. The most striking
feature is the long, golden hairs it possesses, which serve to
protect it from the harsh sun common to its native habitat. More precisely the
long yellow hairs are actually
long bristles that benefit the plant by reducing sun exposure and by
trapping a layer of air next to the cactus body. This helps to cool the
plant in the summer and keep it warm in the winter.
Spines: Harmless, golden and bristly.
Flowers: Near the top, 5-6 cm in diameter pure yellow,
silky, shining with a lovely reflection in the petals.
Blooming season: It blooms only
when mature in Spring to late Summer. Blooms more than once a year.
Cultivation: Frost Tolerant as low as -4°C (or
possibly colder) but in cultivation it is best to avoid any frost when
during the winter the temperature can go down to 2° C without any harm
so long as the compost is very dry. During the summer it is best to keep
the plants outside where the temperature can rise to over 30 C with no
harm to the plant.
Allows good drainage and use a an open and free draining mineral compost
that allows therefore roots to breath.
They like only a short winter's rest and should be kept almost
completely dry during the winter months, If the soil is allowed to
be dry for too long root loss could follow but equally the same result
would occur if the plants are both wet and cold. From March onwards the
plant will begin to grow and watering should be increased gradually
until late May when the plant should be in full growth.
Water regularly during the summer so long as the plant pot is allowed to
drain and not sit in a tray of water. During hot weather you may need to
water the plants more frequently so long as the plant is actively
growing. From late September watering should be reduced to force the
plant to go in to a state of semi dormancy, by October you should be
back in to the winter watering regime.
Need full sun avoiding only the harshest summer sun, if kept too dark
they may become overly lush and could be prone to rotting due to over
watering, they will also be shy to produce flowers.
Feeding may not be necessary at all if the compost is fresh then, feed
in summer only if the plant hasn't been repotted recently. Do not feed
the plants from September onwards as this can cause lush growth which
can be fatal during the darker cold months.
Repotting should be done every other year or every three years, annual
potting is not necessary. Do not be tempted to over pot as this will
cause the unused compost to go stagnant and you may loose the plant.