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Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. Hibotan

Common Name(s): Lolipop Cactus
Synonym(s): Echinocactus mihanovichii
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Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Distribution: Paraguay (South America)
Habit: Globose
Flower: Green, YellowEncounterability: Common Worldwide
Species Notes: The red-colored forms of this species are red because they are a mutation that lacks chlorophyll. Without chlorophyll, these plants lake the ability to turn sunlight into food and cannot survive on their own - they must be grafted onto another plant that has chlorophyll and that supplies the necessary food for the mutated red top (In a graft, the top is also known as the scion and the base is the stock.). This cultivar is especially popular and is sold as a novelty in retail stores world wide.
Cultivation Notes: This mutation is not a particularily hardy form. While the tendancy to produce many offsets makes new grafting material plentiful, individual grafts do not seem to be long-lived. Do not be discouraged if your plant starts to dwindle over time. It may be that the Hylocereus stock commonly used doesn't receive the tropical conditions it prefers or there might be another unknown weakness that comes along with the mutation.
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Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
G. mihanovichii f. Hibotan
Picture taken at: Sara Burbi's Private Collection

Photographer: Sara Burbi

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