Gymnocactus aguirreanus

Two plants which do not correctly belong to the genus Gymnocactus are G. aguirreanus and G. roseanus. Their systematic classification is not clear, some members of the genus being reclassified as Neolloydia. Both species come from northern Mexico. They barely attain 5 to 6 cm in size. G. aguirreanus usually grows singly; it has bristly and prickly projecting spines. It does well in cultivation. The flowers appear in spring.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Hamatocactus setispinus

Is a small, spherical plant in cultivation becoming cylindrical with age. It usually grows solitarily with low ribs and hooked central spines. It is popular thanks to the innumerable flowers which appear throughout spring and summer on the crown. They are yellow with red-brown centres. The mature, bright red fruits are also decorative. H. setispinus comes from Texas and from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Cultivation is easy and this cactus is a show piece for beginners. It can be grown in humus-rich soil, and during its period of growth can  be watered freely.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Haworthis cymbiformis

Is a small species with transparent, pale green leaves. It is easily propagated not only in greenhouses, but also on windows-sills, and in what would be unfavourable conditions for most succulents. It tolerates northeastern or northwestern exposures, where it receives only weak sunlight. It is easily propagated vegetatively, by offsets. It will tolerate abundant, even irregular watering in summer and auntumn.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Islaya ( = Neoporteria ) grandiflorens

This genus consists of approximately 10 species of spherical cacti up to 20 cm across, from the dry coastal areas of Chile and Peru. In certain systematic surveys, they are classified in the genus Neoporteria as a subgenus. Islaya, however, represents a largely homogeneous group, both in term of appearance, spination, shape and colouration of flowers, fruits and seeds, but also in view of its existence in mineral, sterile, alluvial sediments, screes and sand dunes. According to ecological criteria,, these cacti are extremely vigorous and adapted to extremes of drought. Thick and robust spination is a striking feature on plants growing in the wild; it serves as a protection from overheating in the open plains and slopes exposed to sun and wind. The flowers in the genus Islaya are yellow, but the petals are hairy on the outer side and have a central red stripe, or they are entirely red from the outside, so that the closed buds seem to hide reddish blossoms. The flowers appear in summer depending on the weather, opening in succession. The fruits can appear even without pollination; they are then however a mere adornment, and without seeds. I. grandiflorens comes from the southern Peruvian border.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents

Islaya ( = Neoporteria ) minor

Grows together with I. grandiflorens on the exposed windy slopes above the Pacific Ocean. For many days of the year, the only source of humidity is the thick sea fog garua, which condenses on the desert sand like dew. Cultivation of Islaya is not easy; it requires a well drained compost with a large percentage of sand, and a light place all the year round. Excellent results have been obtained with grafted seedlings which flower at 3 cm in diameter.

Source from: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cacti & Other Succulents
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