There are many different types of cacti. And while some of the underlying care guidelines are common, it is best to learn about the specific genus of plants you have in your garden (or window sill, no judgment).
Gymnocalycium, also known as Chin cactus, is a small cactus that produces colorful flowers.
- 1 How to Grow and Care for Gymnocalycium
- 2 How to Propagate Gymnocalycium
- 3 Types of Gymnocalycium Cacti
- 3.1 Gymnocalycium ambatoense
- 3.2 Gymnocalycium amerhauseri
- 3.3 Gymnocalycium amerhauseri subsp altagraciense
- 3.4 Gymnocalycium andreae
- 3.5 Gymnocalycium andreae subsp carolinense
- 3.6 Gymnocalycium anisitsii
- 3.7 Gymnocalycium anisitsii subsp damsii
- 3.8 Gymnocalycium anisitsii var tucavocense
- 3.9 Gymnocalycium baldianum
- 3.10 Gymnocalycium bayrianum
- 3.11 Gymnocalycium berchtii
- 3.12 Gymnocalycium bodenbenderianum
- 3.13 Gymnocalycium bodenbenderianum subsp intertextum
- 3.14 Gymnocalycium bruchii
- 3.15 Gymnocalycium bruchii var hossei
- 3.16 Gymnocalycium bruchii var niveum
- 3.17 Gymnocalycium calochlorum
- 3.18 Gymnocalycium capillaense
- 3.19 Gymnocalycium castellanosii
- 3.20 Gymnocalycium castellanosii subsp bozsingianum
- 3.21 Gymnocalycium catamarcense
- 3.22 Gymnocalycium chacoense
- 3.23 Gymnocalycium chiquitanum
- 3.24 Gymnocalycium curvispinum
- 3.25 Gymnocalycium damsii var rotundulum
- 3.26 Gymnocalycium deeszianum
- 3.27 Gymnocalycium denudatum var Jan Suba
- 3.28 Gymnocalycium denudatum
- 3.29 Gymnocalycium erinaceum
- 3.30 Gymnocalycium esperanzae
- 3.31 Gymnocalycium eurypleurum
- 3.32 Gymnocalycium friedrichii
- 3.33 Gymnocalycium friedrichii var moserianum
- 3.34 Gymnocalycium gibbosum
- 3.35 Gymnocalycium gibbosum var brachypetalum
- 3.36 Gymnocalycium gibbosum var chubutense
- 3.37 Gymnocalycium hamatum
- 3.38 Gymnocalycium horstii
- 3.39 Gymnocalycium horstii subsp buenekeri
- 3.40 Gymnocalycium hyptiacanthum subsp uruguayense
- 3.41 Gymnocalycium intermedium
- 3.42 Gymnocalycium marquezii
- 3.43 Gymnocalycium marsoneri
- 3.44 Gymnocalycium marsoneri subsp matoense
- 3.45 Gymnocalycium mazanense
- 3.46 Gymnocalycium mazanense var ferox
- 3.47 Gymnocalycium megalothelon
- 3.48 Gymnocalycium mesopotamicum
- 3.49 Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
- 3.50 Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var filadelfiense
- 3.51 Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var stenogonum
- 3.52 Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cv Hibotan
- 3.53 Gymnocalycium monvillei
- 3.54 Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp achirasense
- 3.55 Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp horridispinum
- 3.56 Gymnocalycium monvillei var steineri
- 3.57 Gymnocalycium mostii
- 3.58 Gymnocalycium mostii subsp valnicekianum
- 3.59 Gymnocalycium multiflorum
- 3.60 Gymnocalycium neuhuberi
- 3.61 Gymnocalycium ochoterenae
- 3.62 Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subsp vatteri
- 3.63 Gymnocalycium oenanthemum
- 3.64 Gymnocalycium paediophilum
- 3.65 Gymnocalycium paraguayense
- 3.66 Gymnocalycium paraguayense f fleischerianum
- 3.67 Gymnocalycium pflanzii
- 3.68 Gymnocalycium pflanzii var albipulpa
- 3.69 Gymnocalycium pflanzii var riograndense
- 3.70 Gymnocalycium quehlianum
- 3.71 Gymnocalycium ragonesei
- 3.72 Gymnocalycium reductum
- 3.73 Gymnocalycium reductum var leeanum
- 3.74 Gymnocalycium riojense
- 3.75 Gymnocalycium ritterianum
- 3.76 Gymnocalycium robustum
- 3.77 Gymnocalycium saglionis
- 3.78 Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp tilcarense
- 3.79 Gymnocalycium schickendantzii
- 3.80 Gymnocalycium schickendantzii subsp delaetii
- 3.81 Gymnocalycium schroederianum
- 3.82 Gymnocalycium spegazzinii
- 3.83 Gymnocalycium spegazzinii subsp cardenasianum
- 3.84 Gymnocalycium spegazzinii var punillense
- 3.85 Gymnocalycium spegazzinii subsp sarkae
- 3.86 Gymnocalycium stellatum
- 3.87 Gymnocalycium stellatum subsp occultum
- 3.88 Gymnocalycium stellatum var paucispinum
- 3.89 Gymnocalycium stenopleurum
- 3.90 Gymnocalycium sutterianum
- 3.91 Gymnocalycium striglianum
- 3.92 Gymnocalycium taningaense
- 3.93 Gymnocalycium tillianum
- 3.94 Gymnocalycium triacanthum
- 3.95 Gymnocalycium weissianum
- 4 FAQs
How to Grow and Care for Gymnocalycium
These plants belong to the Gymnocalycium genus which comes from the Greek word for naked calyx. That describes the flower buds of this plant because they don’t have hair or a spine.
There are about 70 different species in this genus and the most popular ones are houseplants. They are also quite diverse in their appearance, which means you will find them in many colors, shapes and sizes.
The dwarf varieties grow about 7 inches tall and 12 inches in diameter. But most Chin cacti are about 2-6 inches tall when they mature. These plants do not have the trademark cactus spines on their stems or flowers. You will spot some white ones on the body plant but they flatten over time.
They are grown as houseplants because they are small in size and bloom quite easily. The flowers, however, are large and in shades of red, pink, salmon and white. And luckily for everyone, Chin cacti is not reported to have any toxic effects.
This is something to think about when getting indoor plants. Chin cacti can be grown near children and curious pets without any risk of toxicity. Just keep them away from the tiny white spines.
They are also hardy plants which means you must keep an eye out for spider mites, mealybugs and white fungus.
These plants like bright sunlight throughout the year but not directly. They like it filtered or indirect sunlight. Leave them in extreme sunlight and you will damage the plant. How do you know that? Well, damaged thin cacti don’t bloom.
These cacti have shallow roots which are sensitive to water. They also have a high tolerance to drought which means over-watering is a real concern. These plants need to be watered only once every week or two in the summer.
If you live in warm regions, you might want to give them more water. But make sure the roots are dry. These plants are extremely prone to root rot. In winter, you can let them go without water for a lot longer than that.
As is the case with other cacti, these plants also need well-drained potting soil that is gritty. You can get commercial mixes but make sure they are meant for cactus plants and succulents.
The Gymnocalycium plants don’t really need fertilizing except when their rate of growth is too slow. Any fertilizer that is meant for cacti works and must be fed to the plant when the growth season starts. Make sure you dilute it to half before feeding the plant.
They might be cacti but they grow well indoors in indirect light. And they are not great with frost either. So, if the temperature is before 50 degrees Fahrenheit, place them under a glass container and make sure they have enough heat.
How to Propagate Gymnocalycium
Harvesting the seed is the best way to propagate Chin cacti. They must be cultivated early in the spring season because they grow faster in warmer seasons. Make sure there is fresh soil mix in the container and place it in a sunny place. Water the seeds enough so that the soil stays moist at all times.
They can also be grown from cuttings of small offsets that must be removed from the plant and dried for a few days. Then, they must be dipped in rooting hormone and planted.
Types of Gymnocalycium Cacti
Gymnocalycium ambatoense is a densely spined species that grows individually around 900-1100 m asl on the Sierra Ambato. It is often considered as a transitional form intermediate between the strongly spined and red flowering Gymnocalycium oenanthemum (growing in the same area from 800 to 1800 m asl), and the widespread Gymnocalycium hossei.
Gymnocalycium amerhauseri is a small single-headed, flattened cactus, with peculiar dark green bodies with short adpressed spines in spider-like clusters. Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and Gymnocalycium amerhauseri subsp. altagraciense H.Till & Amerh. however subsp. altagraciense is considered to be a synonym by Charles.
Gymnocalycium amerhauseri subsp altagraciense
Gymnocalycium andreae is a low-growing prickly cactus barely rising above ground level, usually solitary in habitat, but often branching basally in cultivation to form clusters to 15 cm or wider. This species is different from the general run of gymnocalyciums in the color of its flowers, in this case, a brilliant sulfur-yellow.
Gymnocalycium andreae subsp carolinense
Gymnocalycium andreae ssp. carolinense, is an unusually colored variation of this normally yellow-flowered species from the Argentinian province of San Luis. It was firstly found in 1988 by Gert Neuhuber, wh described it as a subspecies of Gymnocalycium andreae in 1994 (G. andreae ssp. carolinense) before raising it in 2005 to the rank of species ( Gymnocalycium carolinense).
It also shares some traits with Gymnocalycium bruchii and Hunt et al. (The New Cactus Lexicon. 2006) given this plant the status of subspecies of G. bruchii.
It is however distinguished from G. bruchii by a solitary (not clumping) stem, and more widely spaced areoles with more prominent “chins”. Bercht considers that it is close to Gymnocalycium bruchii v. brigittae.
Gymnocalycium anisitsii is a very easy to grow and very free-flowering cactus, it may be solitary or freely offsetting with white flowers (but also pink). Spines 5 to 7, tortuous, up to 6 cm long. It is a very polymorphic species with a large range of variability. Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and subsp. multiproliferum.
Gymnocalycium anisitsii subsp damsii
Gymnocalycium anisitsii subs. damsii, firstly described as Echinocactus damsii by K.Schum in 1903, is a very easy to grow and very free-flowering cactus. It may be solitary or freely offsetting. This is a plump species with somewhat rounded ribs.
Flower color is variable, typically white but in Bolivia, they are usually more colored, from pale pink to reddish-violet. Typically it has shorter spines less than 12 mm long. In its resting state, the plant assumes a characteristic deep brown pigmentation, while new growth emerges as a deep green coloration.
Gymnocalycium anisitsii subs. damsii will continue to flower and it is not unusual (in Europe) for blooms to be open on these during the Christmas period.
Gymnocalycium anisitsii var tucavocense
Gymnocalycium anisitsii var. tucavocense is a beautiful species, of modest size, particularly attractive for its beautiful lilac flowers and flattened multicolored stems. The var. tucavocense seems to differ in being remarkably prolific in branching and in its very precocious flowering. Tiny seedlings will branch and flower sometimes when only 1.5 cm in diameter
Gymnocalycium baldianum is a small variety and usually unbranched.
The distinctive feature of Gymnocalycium bayrianum is the strong curling spines which look like pairs of buffalo horns. It is one of the best-spined species.
Gymnocalycium berchtii is a tiny geophyte, with a solitary flattened stem slowly growing atop a thick, underground taproot. It is not common in collections or in catalogs, maybe due to the dark and unattractive color of his body, but more certainly because of its slow growth (it grows much faster underground, with its big napiforme root) and perhaps also it is difficult to adapt to the culture.
This species shows a large variability of spination. The 3 to 5(-7) spines are minimal, thin, about 1 centimeter long, and adpressed to the body, occasionally with one central spine. Most of the plants have black-brown spines and some of them are very light ochraceous with light brown bases.
The flowers grade from pearl-white to lilac with brownish-pink throat and are out of all proportion to the body almost 8 cm long, and up to 6 cm wide, probably to attract the attention of pollinators and Gymnocalycium collectors on a plant otherwise almost invisible.
Gymnocolycium bodenbenderianum is a low-growing, flattish cactus species characterized by brownish-green stems and white flowers often pink flushed. It is commonly known as “Chin-cactus” because of its characteristic tubercle featuring a chin below the areoles.
Gymnocalycium bodenbenderianum subsp intertextum
Gymnocalycium bodenbenderianum subsp intertextum has a stem flattened with 13-15 ribs, tubercles rounded and pointed. It has 5-7 spines. It is naturally found in northern Argentina.
Gymnocalycium bruchii is a miniature clumping succulent that clusters when small. This species is very variable and has received many names.
Gymnocalycium bruchii var hossei
Gymnocalycium bruchii var hossei is a miniature clumping succulent, that clusters when small. It is one of the several forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium bruchii. This plant can look nearly identical to the other “bruchii”, but with brownish spines. All the other characteristics clearly show that they are congeneric, namely size and form of tubercles, number, size and form of spines, flowers and fruits.
Gymnocalycium bruchii var niveum
Gymnocalycium bruchii var niveum is a miniature clumping succulent. It clusters when small.
Gymnocalycium calochlorum (clustering chin cactus) is a small flattened cactus forming low, flat-topped clusters of many stems that grow level to soil. The spines are wispy and mostly pinkish brown. The light pink flowers are trumpet-shaped over 5 cm across at the widest point. They do not open completely.
Gymnocalycium capillaense is a weak-spined small species notable for the comparatively large flowers that branches forming numerous offsets. This plant is part of a very confused group comprising Gymnocalycium siegelianum and Gymnocalycium sutterianum.
Gymnocalycium castellanosii is a solitary plant with fairly heavy spines bent backward in a distinctive fashion.
Gymnocalycium castellanosii subsp bozsingianum
Gymnocalycium castellanosii subsp bozsingianum is characterized by a dull grey-green epidermis, a dozen of rounded ribs with low tubercles, separated from each other by small furrows, usually 5 needle-like radial spines, mostly 3 to 20 mm in length, and rarely a central spine.
Gymnocalycium chacoense is a low-growing species that form large groups of many pale-green stems, often of 25-50 heads. The plants offset very strongly. Probably due to the almost exclusively vegetative propagation, the population at the type site is very uniform. With time each individual offsets produce its own roots and becomes an independent plant.
This species is strictly related to Gymnocalycium paediophilum and often synonymized with the latter (Hunt et alt. 2006), but G. Charles et Detlev Meting consider it a good species, distinguished from G. paediophilum by smaller flowers, that are white to pink sometimes becoming red at maturity and also by finer, golden-yellow, denser and bristly spines that give it a distinct identity. It’s really a very interesting gymnocalycium, different from the rest of the genus.
Gymnocalycium chiquitanum is a small cactus with spines that wrap against the body of the plant.
Gymnocalycium curvispinus is one of the several forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium hybopleurum which forms a complex of related taxon. Gymnocalycium curvispinus is distinguished with its strongly curved spines. It is still unclear whether this variable complex is one or several species. There is so much variation in spination that most authors choose to lump them together until further studies are done.
Gymnocalycium damsii var rotundulum
Gymnocalycium damsii var. rotundulum is a usually solitary colorful cactus common in cultivation, characterized by a rounder and scarcely raised tubercles. However, it is very similar (if not identical) to the standard G. damsii (G. anisistsii) and it is probably the exact same plant.
Gymnocalycium deeszianum is a small solitary cactus. It is a quite variable and doubtful species (especially cultivated plants may be quite different) In fact some plants labeled “deeszianum” are so different-looking that the only uniting factor is the white bloom and rounded ribs.
Gymnocalycium denudatum var Jan Suba
‘Jan Suba’ is said to be a hybrid between Gymnocalycium denudatum and Gymnocalycium baldianum (Gymnocalycium venturianum). It has the stem and spination of the former and the lovely red or deep pink flower color of the latter. (pink-flowered forms of Gymnocalycium denudatum may have been found in habitat, and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that one such has found its way into cultivation, but all this is dubious).
Gymnocalycium denudatum is a small globular, usually unbranched, cactus with a glossy dark-green body and rounded ribs. Gymnocalycium denudatum is extremely variable.
Gymnocalycium erinaceum is a small species with solitary or clustering stems, it may clusters when small. This slow-growing plant will eventually form clusters up to 15 cm across.
Gymnocalycium esperanzae is an attractive species with flattened stems covered with a conspicuous grey bloom.
Gymnocalycium eurypleurum is a variable low-growing species, especially for spination. (Some plants have minimal spination while others seem quite heavily armed).
Gymnocalycium friedrichii is an invalid name used to indicate the pink-flowered form of Gymnocalycium stenopleurum. It is a small solitary cactus with a banded body that has perianth-segments pinkish-red with white margins (but also pale pink or almost pure white). This species is sometimes combined with Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, and sometimes kept as a separate species.
Gymnocalycium friedrichii var moserianum
Gymnocalycium friedrichii v moserianum is a controversial variety that, broadly speaking, belongs to the G. mihanovichii/stenopleurum group. It differs from Gymnocalycium friedrichii by the size of the stem 2 times larger. It is an attractive plant with a reddish-brown body with pointed ribs striped with a white cross at the areoles.
The areoles are very wooly and (usually) with only 3 spines. The spines are weak and fall over time. The flowers are pale pink (or white), appear freely, and open up entirely.
Gymnocalycium gibbosum is a small solitary cactus. It is a quite variable species. This polymorphism has led some authors to describe a lot of unnecessary varieties.
Gymnocalycium gibbosum var brachypetalum
Gymnocalycium gibbosum var. brachypetalum is one of the several forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium gibbosum which forms a complex of related taxon. It is still unclear whether this variable complex is one or several species.
There is so much variation that most authors choose to lump them together. The variety “brachypetalum” distinguishes for the unusual dark grey-green to nearly black stem and for the large white flowers.
Gymnocalycium gibbosum var chubutense
Gymnocalycium gibbosum var. chubutense is one of the several forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium gibbosum which forms a complex of related taxon. It is still unclear whether this variable complex is one or several species.
There is so much variation that most authors choose to lump them together. The variety “chubutense” distinguishes for the unusual dark green to nearly black stem and for the cream-white or pinkish flowers.
Gymnocalycium hamatum is a local or morphological form of Gymnocalycium marsoneri. It has an olive green, tuberculate body. The pale colored spines are all radial, standing out from the body, straight but slightly hooked at the tip. However, the distinguishing characteristics of Gymnocalycium hamatum, appear to fall within the natural variation of Gymnocalycium marsoneri and it should be synonymized with the latter.
Gymnocalycium horstii is a distinctive large cactus, minimally spined with a green ball-shaped body. Usually solitary or slowly clustering as they age. Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and subsp. buenekeri (Swales) P.J.Braun & Hofacker. The latter was previously considered a good species, genetic studies are required to see if it should be raised to species level again.
Gymnocalycium horstii subsp buenekeri
Gymnocalycium horstii subsp buenekeri is very similar to Gymnocalycium horstii. Both have very similar great pink flowers and the same (usually) five ribbed appearance, and good, yellow spines. It can clump and is quick to grow.
Gymnocalycium hyptiacanthum subsp uruguayense
Gymnocalycium hyptiacanthum subsp uruguayense is a small cactus species, usually solitary and barely rising above ground level. This species is characterized by marked variability in the length and shape of the spines that resemble the long leg of a spider and has received many names.
Gymnocalycium intermedium is an undescribed name published in Jörg and Brigitte Piltz seed catalog (field number P113) used to indicate one of the local forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium ochoterenae, with squat dull grey-green or blue-green epidermis, up to 9 cm high 4-10 cm broad (or more in culture)
Gymnocalycium marquezii is a solitary or slowly clustering cactus, with peculiar spine clusters characteristically bent backward in a distinctive fashion. It is very similar in structure to Gymnocalycium pfanzii var. riograndense but has shark mat type skin, dark coppery red stem and dark spines.
Gymnocalycium marsoneri is a globular cactus, rather flattened, with spreading and sometimes recurved spines. They are a rich brown and form a pleasing contrast against the bronze-green body.
Gymnocalycium marsoneri subsp matoense
Gymnocalycium marsoneri subs. matoense is the Brazilian population of Gymnocalycium marsoneri. It has a rather flattened bronze-green, tuberculate body with about 21 ribs and bluish green fruits.
However the distinguishing characteristics of subs. matoense, appears to fall within the natural variation of Gymnocalycium marsoneri and it should be presumably synonymized with the latter.
Gymnocalycium mazanense is very spiny, usually solitary and quite variable even in the same population.
Gymnocalycium mazanense var ferox
Gymnocalycium mazanense var. ferox is one of the several forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium hossei which form a complex of very closely related taxon. It is still unclear whether this variable complex is one or several species. There is so much variation even in the same population that most authors choose to lump them together.
Gymnocalycium mazanense var. ferox is quite variable and distinguishes for the covering of stout greyish interlacing spines. The body is almost concealed by the spines and is one of the most decorative cacti of the genus Gymnocalycium.
Gymnocalycium megalothelon is a form of Gymnocalycium denudatum, but not sufficiently differentiated and considered merely a local variant of the latter. The key difference by which the two were separated, namely the presence of more prominent tubercles, yellow spines and white double flowers, seems entirely spurious, but plants from this population do differ in various respects from that on the common Gymnocalycium denudatum.
Gymnocalycium mesopotamicus is a small cactus often solitary in habitat, but freely branching in cultivation where it makes pleasing clumps.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is considered to be a miniature cactus. It only grows to be 4 cm high and has a 5-6 cm diameter. The not fully opening flowers of this species have a silky appearance and range from pale green to brownish-yellow. It has wider, lower ribs, in juvenile plants divided into separate chins, in maturity every rib has a flat surface and a pleat above each areole.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii Variegata
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var filadelfiense
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var filadelfiense is usually solitary. It only grows to be 4 cm high and has a 5-6 cm diameter.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var stenogonum
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var stenogonum has a larger stem (up to 15 cm in diameter), smooth fresh green to bronze in full sun. The greenish flowers are also larger. It comes from Toro Alarachii in southern Chaco, Argentina
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cv Hibotan
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cv Hibotan comprises a large group of popular mutants, characterized by more or less red-colored bodies. They are red (but also orange, dark purplish, yellow or even white) because they contain few chlorophyll or even no chlorophyll at all, much like the red we see in the fall foliage of trees when their chlorophyll breaks down and disappears.
Without chlorophyll, many of these mutants Gymnocalycium cannot produce sugar and without sugar, they will die. The only way to keep them alive is to graft them onto another cactus that has chlorophyll and which will provide sugar to the mutant scion. The chlorophyll-containing the bottom part of the graft, called the stock, can be any number of different cactus species. In the case of the Gymnocalycium, it is usually Hylocereus, a tropical cactus.
Gymnocalycium monvillei is well-known in cultivation and particularly priced for its pink flowers and characteristic strong spination. It is quite variable and several unnecessary varietal names have appeared in the past.
Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp achirasense
Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp achirasense is usually a solitary geophytic cactus. Its stem can be flattened or globular, grey-green to olive green, 5-6 cm in diameter, up to 5 cm tall, but in cultivation, it can become 7-8 cm high (or more) over the years.
Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp horridispinum
Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp horridispinum is a very distinctive (usually) solitary geophytic cactus. It is recognizable at a glance, due to its strong, outstanding spine formation, and is among the few Gymnocalycium species which can be fairly reliably identified from their general appearance, without recourse to flower-dissection seed studies or other methods. The spines are metallic grey with brownish tips, stout, strong and sharp.
While most Gymnocalycium species have flattened to almost spherical stems Gymnocalycium monvillei subsp horridispinum develops in age a somewhat columnar stem. The flower can be white with violet pink edging to the petals, purple-pink or most often wholly pink. It is related to Gymnocalycium multiflorum.
Gymnocalycium monvillei var steineri
This variation differs from the type by the broom-shaped protruding or long intertwined golden-yellow spination.
Gymnocalycium mostii is a solitary cactus species with a flattened dark green stem usually less than 13 across. The ribs are broad and obtuse with a small sharp chin below each tubercle. The horn-colored spines take a nice red coloring when wetted. Its pale rose-pink blooms are profusely produced during the growing season.
Gymnocalycium mostii subsp valnicekianum
Gymnocalycium mostii subsp valnicekianum have been described as solitary, but they can also form groups with age. The plants in the habitat are each different from their neighbors! Some have strong spines others weak, curly, straight, long or short ones and in all different combinations.
Gymnocalycium multiflorum is a local or morphological form of the variable Gymnocalycium monvillei It is very well-known in cultivation and distinguished from standard Gymnocalycium monvillei for the very attractive dark bluish body and stout large white blooms (not pink).
It obtained its name “multiflorum” (many flowered) for its showy displays of white flowers, however, this species rarely lives up to the promise of its name in cultivation, and blooms with moderation only when mature. Several unnecessary varietal names have appeared in the past.
Gymnocalycium neuhuberi is a beautiful species, of modest size, particularly attractive for its beautiful lilac flowers with a usually yellowish (sometimes orange or brown) spination. Not only does the neuhuberi have a beautiful flower for a Gymno, but it is also scented.
When it was discovered, probably because of the large pink color of its flowers, this taxon was put in relation with Gymnocalycium monvillei. In fact, it grows together with the local form of Gymnocalycium monvillei and a beautiful form of Gymnocalycium fischeri named Gymnocalycium fischeri ssp. suyuquense by Berger in 2003.
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae is a flattened, brown-bodied, interestingly spined species, solitary barely rising above ground level or sometimes branching in cultivation to form small clusters. This species is characterized by marked variability in body form and spination and has received many names.
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subsp vatteri
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae subsp vatteri is a very slow growing species. It is generally solitary but old specimens may cluster from the base.
Gymnocalycium oenanthemum is a beautiful solitary stemmed species, of modest size, with stout spines slightly curved inward and particularly attractive for its beautiful wine-red or deep salmon-pink flowers.
Gymnocalycium paediophilum is a small pale green globular cactus. It is a heavy clumper related to both Gymnocalycium chiquitanum (flowers and seeds) and Gymnocalycium chacoense(seeds). Its stem is depressed globose to shortly cylindrical, dull, light to dark green about 5-8(-12) cm diameter and 10-20 tall and branching profusely from the base.
Gymnocalycium paraguayense is an extremely variable species from Paraguay at first solitary slowly forming in age large groups with 20-30 heads. In a single population, you can find all forms of plants with different numbers, forms and lengths of spines, numbers and forms of ribs etc, and, but for the red throat of the flower, some forms (syn. Gymnocalycium fleischerianum) could be confused with Gymnocalycium horstii. However, in its normal form, it cannot be confused.
Gymnocalycium paraguayense f fleischerianum
Gymnocalycium paraguayense f. fleischerianum (Gymnocalycium fleischerianum) is quite variable and is generally included within (as a synonym of) Gymnocalycium paraguayense but it has deeper green glossy stems with wider, more rounded ribs lacking the transverse furrow, more spines (up to 9 or more per areole), longer and thinner somewhat curved and close to the body.
Sometimes it is incorrectly labeled as a variety of Gymnocalycium denudatum under various names. Older plants producing offshoots from the base, building small groups or mats. The flowers are white with purplish-pink throat, funnel-shaped, 4-6 cm long.
Gymnocalycium pflanzii is a solitary or slowly clustering cactus, with peculiar spine clusters characteristically bent backward in a distinctive fashion.
Gymnocalycium pflanzii var albipulpa
Gymnocalycium pflanzii var. albipulpa is a naturally occurring variant of Gymnocalycium pflanzii distingushed by its white fruit pulp (not red). It looks very much like the standard Gymnocalycium pflanzii and it is hard to tell apart from one from the others if not for the fruit.
In accordance with the variability of the species the “albipulpa” variety is invalid and nowadays considered as a synonym.
Gymnocalycium pflanzii var riograndense
Gymnocalycium pflanzii var. riograndense is a single-headed, flattened globular cactus, with peculiar spine clusters characteristically bent backward in a distinctive fashion and with short tubed flowers with bluish-red centers. This species is characterized by marked variability in the length and shape of the spines that resemble the long leg of a spider and is hard to tell it apart from the other similar Gymnocalycium pflanzii forms and varieties.
Gymnocalycium quehlianum is a compact, slow growing plant with attractive spination.
It has a stem up to 7cm wide and is usually solitary. It appears to be the one of flattest Gymnocalycium, barely rising above the level of the soil. A remarkable characteristic of this species is the color of the body, which goes from reddish to dark bluish-green.
Gymnocacalycium ragonesei is a very small, dark-skinned cactus resembling a round brown rock with white flowers usually in clusters from June to September.
Two varieties of Gymnocalycium reductum are recognized, the nominate form and var. leeanum.
Gymnocalycium reductum var leeanum
The Yellow chin-cactus, Gymnocalycium reductum var. leeanum is a small cactus that usually grows in clumps. This species flowers readily and profusely. Moreover, the flowers are large (5-6 cm in diameter), pale yellow and remarkably long-lasting, a single bloom often surviving for ten days or more.
Gymnocalycium leeanum is a particularly good species to have, its flowers are among the first cactus flowers to appear each year. Buds are seen in February usually and the first blooms may open at the beginning of March, rivaling those of Gymnocalycium bruchii and of Toumeya schmiedickiana for their earliness.
Gymnocalycium riojense is a low-growing cactus with a solitary brown body that will grow up to about 10 cm in diameter but it can take twenty years of culture to do so. However, the white-pink flowers are produced from the crown on much younger plants when only 5 cm in diameter. It is quite variable.
Gymnocalycium ritterianum is a very variable small cactus, usually solitary to occasional clustering. It has attractive discoid stems and freely produces satiny white flowers with rosy throats. The “ritterianum” found in cultivation are often so dissimilar that hardly seem the same species.
Gymnocalycium robustum, as the name states, is a robust, rugged cactus species characterized by thick ribs and round podaria (tubercles) with few short spines and thick receptacles and fruits. Previously, it was circulated under the name Gymnocalycium cordobensis.
Gymnocalycium saglionis (sometimes known as Gymnocalycium saglione) is a solitary barrel cactus, rather flattened, often very large, with long spreading and sometimes recurved spines. They are a rich brown and form a pleasing contrast against the grey-green body.
Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp tilcarense
Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp. tilarense differs from subspecies saglionis in having flowers with shorter floral tubes and occurring only in an area near Tilcara.
Gymnocalycium schickendantzii is a nice looking broadly globular, somewhat flattened cactus similar to Gymnocalycium saglionis, but with quite varied spination, some with beautiful long interlacing spines. Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and subsp. delaetii (K.Schum.) G.J.Charles.
Gymnocalycium schickendantzii subsp delaetii
Gymnocalycium schickendantzii subsp delaetii is a nice-looking solitary barrel cactus that appears to be closely related to Gymnocalycium schickendantzii, but with more rounded tubercles which are even more projecting and with longer reddish buds.
Gymnocalycium schroederianum is an attractive low-growing cactus species barely rising above ground level, usually solitary in habitat, but on occasion branching basally in cultivation to form clusters. This species is different from the general run of Gymnocalycium in the color of its flowers, in this case, a pale yellowish-green.
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii is a flattened solitary cactus with very characteristic spines pointing sideways or downward. Two subspecies are recognized, the nominate form and subsp. cardenasianum (F.Ritter) R.Kiesling & Metzing.
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii subsp cardenasianum
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii subs. cardenasianum is a solitary, slowly growing cactus, densely covered with incredibly strong twisted spines pointing sidewards and downward.
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii var punillense
Gymnocalycium spegazzini var. punillense is a beautiful slow-growing plant with a noticeably flattened dark brown to the almost black body. It is easy to grow. Will not offset. The spines are typically recurved, add-pressed against the body, and most attractive.
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii subsp sarkae
Gymnocalycium spegazzinii ssp. sarkae is a very distinctive naturally occurring variant of Gymnocalycium spegazzinii with different seeds, darker purple-brown epidermis and long spidery brown spines.
Gymnocalycium stellatum is a beautiful slowly growing plant with a noticeably flatten body, at first solitary, later clustering. This species is characterized by some variability in the length and has received many names.
Gymnocalycium stellatum subsp occultum
Gymnocalycium occultum is a beautiful, slowly-growing plant with a noticeably flatten body, at first solitary, later clustering. Its stem has a dark grayish-brown to olive-colored epidermis, flattened globose, 7.5-10 cm in diameter. It will offset after a considerable period of time.
Gymnocalycium stellatum var paucispinum
Gymnocalycium stellatum var. paucispinum is a small cactus barely rising above ground level, usually solitary in habitat, but sometimes branching basally in cultivation to form clusters.
Gymnocalycium stenopleurum is a small solitary cactus with grey-green and brownish-red banded body that typically has white, fully opening flowers.
Gymnocalycium sutterianum has a very flattened body and a strong tuberose root apparatus. This species is closely related to Gymnocalycium sigelianum (which has paler flowers and some differences in the number and the color of spines)
Gymnocalycium striglianum is a small and usually solitary cactus. It is related to Gymnocalycium gibbosum but looks quite similar to Gymnocalycium stellatum.
Gymnocalycium taningaense is a small cactus barely rising above ground level, usually solitary in habitat, but often branching basally in cultivation and forming clusters. It differs from the related Gymnocalycium calochlorum for the yellow throat of the flower (Red in calochlorum), for the slender narrower flower tube and for the bigger-sized seeds.
Gymnocalycium tillianum is a short, squat Argentinian cactus, with shining green stems that grow 10 cm tall and 15 cm wide. It has long, black-brown, curving spines and relatively large pale pink, carmine red or wine-red flowers in spring that stand out. The richness of the red always provides an inner glow of satisfaction. Spherical fruit follows in summer.
Gymnocalycium tillianum is almost identical to the standard Gymnocalycium oenanthemum and it is hard to tell apart from one from the others, if not for the geographical provenance and a few little differences in seeds morphology and they are not considered distinct.
Gymnocalycium triacanthum is a small single-headed, flattened cactus, with peculiar grey bodies with short adpressed spines in clusters of three. It is one of the several species of the variable Gymnocalycium bodenbenderianum complex, however, it is hard to tell it apart from the three spun “bodenbenderianum”, and most authors choose to lump them together.
Gymnocalycium weissianum is one of the several forms of the very variable Gymnocalycium hossei which form a complex of very closely related taxon. It is still unclear whether this variable complex is one or several species. There is so much variation even in the same population that most authors choose to lump them together. Gymnocalycium weissianum is quite variable and distinguishes for the covering of stout bright greyish-white interlacing spines.
How Do You Get Gymnocalycium to Bloom?
These plants usually produce flowers that are about 1.5 inches in diameter. They are referred to as naked buds because they don’t have wool or spines. The flowers bloom well only in warm climates and when the plant is mature. Light and watering conditions must be optimal for the flowering to take place. If the plant is scorched, it won’t bloom.
How Long Do Gymnocalycium Flowers Last?
This depends on the species because some of them last for a day while others stay bloomed for about 6 weeks. The time period also depends on the watering conditions and the temperature of its surroundings.
How Do You Make Gymnocalycium Grow Faster?
With some species, it takes years to see any growth. If you want faster growth, you must keep them on a strict watering schedule without ignoring their soil conditions. Air exchange is an important factor too. And in winter, let them go dormant because that is their natural state of existence.