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Discocactus zehntneri
 
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Discocactus zehntneri .
It is a squat tiny little plant with flexible, interlacing spider-like spines that cover the plant.

Description: D.  zehntneri is a squat tiny little solitary plant that - in culture - produces just like D. boomianus many offsets.
Stem: Dull-green 10-20 in diameter and 7-10 cm tall.
Cephalium: Up to 1 cm tall and -4 cm wide, at the apex of the plant, creamy-withe to light-brown with yellow to brownish bristles up to 2 cm..
Ribs: About 20, somewhat spiraled, forming nipple-like tubercles to 1 cm high.
Areoles: Oval, sunken, ca. 8 per ribs.
Radial spines: Interlacing, densely covering the plant, 10 to15 up to 1-2 cm long, pectinate, flexible spines creamy white or whitish-yellow with dark tips, becoming pale-brown to whitish, recurved backwards, sitting on the plant like spiders.
Central spines: None.
Flowers: White, scented, slender funnelform, 2 to 9 cm long. The position of the stigma is at the top of the stamens. Each flowering lasts only one night, but that night it produces many flowers.
Fruits: Club-shaped red 2,5 cm long. The plant produces seed-pods twice a year, when it flowers.
Remarks: This plant is part of the D. zehentneri complex which comprises several variable subordinates taxa, but not all are universally recognized.  Some authorities recognize the following :

Recognized subspecies, varieties and forms:

subsp. zehntneri Usually globose and completely covered in white thin, needle-like spines, the flower is about 3 cm long and the fruit are red (Origin: Sentocé)
subsp. horstiorum = subp zehntneri (Origin:
near Minas do Mimosa, Moreno, Sierra do Espinahaco, Bahia )
subsp. boomianus Usually disk -shaped, with dark tipped yellowish spines, the flowers are up to 9 cm long (Origin: Sierra do Espinahaco)
subsp. buenekeri this species does share the complex commonality of tuberculate ribs and basal offsetting, but its white, club-shaped fruit does not fit with the dark red , much elongated and slender fruit of the other taxa.
subsp. araneispina
has flexible, interlacing spider-like spines that cover the plant.
subsp. albispina

 

Cultivation: Discocactus zehntneri v. horstiorum is one of the easiest species of the genus to grow, but even so it isn't a plants for beginners, in fact collectors consider the Discocactus  to be rarities with requires skilful cultivation. It is rather difficult to grow and frost tender, it can’t stand cold, or even fairly cool temperatures and should be kept at above 15° C if grown on its own roots (8°C if grafted). Need full sun or afternoon shade. They are slow growing and very rot prone when kept on their own roots and though they can’t endure long stretches of total dryness, too much water will rot them, as their weak root systems tend to be inefficient at sucking up water from wet soil. They generally resent being repotted and can take a long time to establish. When grown to maturity, however, it possess an exotic look shared by no other cacti, and it generally attract a lot of attention.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings. Young seedlings are generally grafted on a low stock to keep the plant in a good shape.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Discocactus zehntneri Britton & Rose 1922

Taxonomy: Subfamily: Cactoideae tribe: Trichocereeae.

Origin:  Southern Brazil (altitude around 1000-1200 mt )
 
Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 1.These species are threatened with extinction.

Synonyms :  

  • Discocactus zehntneri ssp. albispinus (Buining et Brederoo) P.J.Braun & Esteves 1995.
  • Discocactus zehntneri boomianus (Buining & Brederoo) N. P. Taylor & Zappi 1991
  • Discocactus zehntneri subsp. araneispinus (Buining et Brederoo) P.J.Braun & Esteves 1995.
  • Discocactus zehntneri ssp. horstiorum
  • Discocactus zehntneri var. horstiorum
  • Discocactus zehntneri ssp.buenekeri
 



The cephalium at the apex of the plant is creamy-white  up to 2 cm wide.

 

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Discocactus zehntneri.

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Discocactus



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti