Rebutia sp. (Photo by Johann Espiritu) Genus of mostly clump forming, spherical to columnar, perrenical cacti with flowers produced in profusion from plat bases, usually 2-3 years after raising from seeds. Much ribbed tuberculate, green stems have short spines.
Turbinicarpus alonsoi (Photo by Johann Espiritu; plant in the collection of Kevin Belmonte) From Guanajuato, Mexico. First described in 1996 and named after its discover, a Mexican boy named Alonso. It is one of the most beautiful and distinct members of the Genus Turbinicarpus, a group of rare and small sized, globular cacti with spines which are usually papery, hairy or feathery and found only in Mexico. The plants have beautiful flowers. T. alonsoi is solitary, possesses a large tap root, is globose greyish-green or glaucous with a flattened top. In the wild, it grows partly underground, and attains a size of up to 4.4 inches long (11cm), 2.4 to 3.6 inches in diameter (6 to 9cm). The spines are weak and generally falloff from the older tubercles of the plant. T. alonsoi generally flowers from March to October, mainly between April and June. The flowers are cherry red to pink-magenta, with a more intensely coloured mid-stripe.
Mammilaria sp. (Photo by Johann Espiritu) Most are native to Mexico, some are native from southwestern USA, Caribbean, Central America or even a couple in northern South America. In their range you can find Mammillarias from sea level to high elevations. They also vary in size from miniature 1 inch in diameter (2.5cm) to columnar types 1 foot tall (30cm). In general the Mammillarias bloom easily, but many species need a rest period in winter during which they are kept cool in order to bloom. Furthermore, flowers form a ring on.tissue grown the previous growing season, so it is important to get them to grow every year, which means regular watering and fertilizing during their growing period.
Epithelantha bokei (Photo by Johann Espiritu; plant in the collection of Kevin Belmonte) From the Big Bend area in West Texas, USA, E. bokei is probably the most beautiful of all species in the Genus. The plant is usually found growing solitary in the wild, although multi-headed specimens have also been found. It is difficult to find among the limestone it inhabits. In cultivation, it sometimes produces offsets and clusters, although other specimens remain solitary. The creamy white or pure white spines lie very close to the plant’s body, and gives the plant a smooth appearance.
Aloe humilis (Photo by Peter Bangayan) Native to South Africa, with Glaucus blue-green incurved leaves 8-10cm long, with small white tubercles on the underside. Euphorbia golisana (Photo by Ferdinand C. Lao) Originated from Somalia. Sometimes mistaken for a cactus because of its leafless, green spindly stem with small flowers at the ends. Secretes a white milky sap when injured. Care should be taken when handling these plants, as certain individuals may experience skin irritation from the sap. The Euphorbias are named after a Greek surgeon called Euphorbus. He was physician of Juba II who was the Romanised king of a North African kingdom, and is supposed to have used their milky latex as an ingredient for his potions.
Gymnocalycium sp. (Photo by Ferdinand C. Lao) Gymnocalycium is native to South America. Most species are globose, rather small, varying from 1.5 to 6 inches in size (4cm to 15cm). They are popular for their easy flowering habits, although the flowers are generally brightly colored. They are also popular for their ease to care for. The genus name “gymnocalycium” comes from the Greek for “naked calyx” referring to the flower buds bearing no hair or spines.
Mammilaria spinosissima (Photo by Ferdinand C. Lao) Oval shaped, bluish-green plants up to 20cm high, 6-7mm thick. They have oval, cone-like tubercles and white woolly and bristly axils.