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  Eriosyce napina
(Syn: Neoporteria napina)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Eriosyce napina
 (Field number: FR249 East of Huasco, Atacama, Chile, Date: 1954/05)
 

Description: Tiny geophyte,  with a solitary spherical or flattened stem slowly growing atop a thick, underground taproot, with a constriction between the stem and the root. eventually becoming somewhat elongated in cultivation.
Stem: Slow growing, up to 3-5 cm across, 2-6 cm tall, ranging from green to brown, but more commonly with brown-olive-grey tones.
Tubercles : Larger than ssp. lembckei;
Areoles: Grey.
Spines: Very short black radials.
Roots:  Forms a tuberous root system with (usually) a very large carrot-like root
Flower: Approx 3,5 cm long, 4-6 cm in diameter, whitish, yellowish, pinkish to pale brick-red with a silky shine, buds densely hairy with brown wool.
Fruits: Large, red, clavate, wrapped in white wool.    

Blooming season:
Flowers already when young, synchronised flowering of the whole plants takes place over one or two days, and they remain open for about three or four days. Blooms in late spring.

 

Budss & fruits

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Eriosyce napina (R. Philippi) F. Kattermann
Published in: Eriosyce (Cactaceae): The genus revised and amplified 1: 118, 1994

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Etymology: The genus name "Eriosyce" derives from the Greek words “Erion (εριον) meaning “wool” and “Sykos” meaning “fig (a fruit)” .
(The genus name implies: “woolly fruits”).

The species name
napina  derives from the Latin “napus” meaning "turnip  plus the adjective suffix for nouns "inus" meaning "belonging to or resembling" (The specific name implies: “resembling a turnip”)

Origin: From coastal Chile (Region III Atacama) South of Freirina in the Huasco valley  (Atacama Desert)
 

Habitat:  E. napina grows in one of the most arid areas in the world, among rocky crags and sand dunes in sandy-clayey soil in a vegetable formation called “Costal desert of Huasco,” a typical “desertic mattoral” that is just spectacular and impressive when it displays the phenomenon of the “flowering desert”.
Altitude around 200 m.

Synonyms:

  • Echinocactus napinus Phil. 1872 Basionym
  • Neoporteria napina, (Philippi) Backeberg 1935 
    in:  Blatter Kakteenforsch., Pt. 9, [p. 4], 1935
  • Neochilenia napina (Phil.) Backeb. 1942
  • Thelocephala napina (Phil.) Y.Itô 1957
  • Chileorebutia napina (Phil.) F.Ritter (Nom inval.) 1959
  • Chilenia napina (Phil.) Backeb. 1939
  • Echinocactus mitis Phil. 1894
  • Neochilenia mitis (Phil.) Backeb. 1959
  • Neochilenia imitans Backeb. (Nom. inval.) 1959
  • Neochilenia neoreichei Backeb. (Nom. inval.) 1959
  • Reicheocactus neoreichei (Backeb.) Backeb. (Nom. inval.) 1962
  • Echinocactus napinus Phil. 1872 miniature
 
 


Eriosyce napina KK18a, Huasco, Chile 200m
A plant grafted on Opuntia compressa

Cultivation: The eriosyces have a thick taproot and are susceptible to over-watering.  Sometimes they are grafted to avoid root rot problems. Suited for sunny-bright exposure; they can tolerate light shade.  They like warmth (recommended minimum winter temperature 5° C).  But plant kept perfectly dry can easily survive in winter night temperatures below 0° C (In our greenhouse there was no damage at -10° C for a few hours in the winter of 2002-2003 )
They prefer airy exposures. They also need a deep pot and good
drainage, to accommodate its tap root.  Keep dry in winter.
Pests & diseases:  
E. napina is especially prone to rot, therefore, underpot in a smaller container filled with a very porous compost.

Propagation:
Seeds or graft.  Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer. The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted, after which they can be planted separately in small pots.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of E. napina. (This Taxon has lots of synonyms,  with several controversial varieties and subspecies, and comprises a multitude of different forms)

 

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

Photo gallery ERIOSYCE



 

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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