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Cacti Home

TURK's CAP CACTUS (Melocactus)

Interesting globular species from the West Indies and South America. The plants are crowned with a red growth, resembling a fez, from which the flowers grow. Keep them in full sun with very little moisture.

Melocactus amoenus {short description of image} Columbia. Flowers, red.
Melocactus broadwayi West Indies. Flowers, purple.
Melocactus caesius   Venezuela. Flowers, variable.
Melocactus intortus   West Indies. Flowers, pink.
Melocactus melocactoides   Brazil. Flowers, pink.

Various Other Cacti for Potting 1

Lobivid longispina {short description of image} Argentina. A ribbed, cylindric species covered with long, hooked spines. Full sun and very little water.
Pereskia b1ca Columbia. A bush-like cactus with 6-inch culsters of rose-pink flowers. Medium sun and con siderable water.
Rebutia minuscula Argentina. A very small, globular cactus with soft spines. Numerous crimson flowers grow from beneath the base of the plant. Partial sun and little water.
Zygocaclus fruncatus The Christmas Cactus, blooming in late December. A variety flowers earlier, in November, and is called The Thanksgiving Cactus. Brazil. Flat, articulated, spineless leaves and fuchsialike Rowers. Color of type is crim son, but there are numerous horticultural varieties, ranging in color from white through different shades of red to a vibrant cerise. Partial shade and considerable water until buds are forming; then less moisture or the buds will fall off. Use Potting Mixture 3 instead of 6.

If you have not already abandoned this chapter in sheer desperation at the multiplicity of uncouth, yet essential, scientific names, you may be interested in how to grow cacti from seed or increase your present, or contemplated, collection fron~ cuttings. Growing cactus seedlings is a fascinating pastime; it also provides material for exchange-possibly for sale; although the commercial aspect is at best ephemeral without proper equipment.

Among other advantages, the raising of cacti from seed enables the collector to grow species that otherwise he might not be able to obtain. Department of Agriculture regulations allow a green light on seeds of many plants--cacti included-which are otherwise disbarred from importation, except under special permit. Perhaps the greatest apparent drawback is the time necessary to produce a sizable cactus plant from seed. The drawback is only seeming not real -because a serious gardener will count the interim as a valuable investment in experience and increased knowledge.