Pterocactus hickenii

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ohugal
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:45 am

Pterocactus hickenii

Post by ohugal »

One of my favorite cacti: Pterocactus hickenii
Photograph by: Oscar Hugal
Picture taken at: Oscar Hugal's private collection
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Location
Antwerp, Belgium
temperate, maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers
south-west facing window in a city appartment
min. winter temp. 16°C/60.8°F
no outdoor or winter rest capability
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mmcavall
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Location: São Carlos - SP, Southeast Brazil, Cerrado Region

Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by mmcavall »

Isn't it painfully slow?
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ohugal
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by ohugal »

It is. It's very hard to tell whether 'I'm doing it right'. New growth is often slightly reddish. I have it about 2 years. In a year or so I can start giving it a proper rest period, which is not the case right now. The goal is to have it flower and put some colour on that 'grotesque' body. I also have two P. tuberosus (unflattering picture attached).
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Location
Antwerp, Belgium
temperate, maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers
south-west facing window in a city appartment
min. winter temp. 16°C/60.8°F
no outdoor or winter rest capability
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mikethecactusguy
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Location: Indio Ca
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by mikethecactusguy »

It appears to be light starved. New growth is very leggy compared to the older area's.
Mike M
Mike The Cactus Guy
Enjoying the Spines
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ohugal
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by ohugal »

The one on the left is a Maihueniopsis clavarioides. I thought it was a Pterocactus when I bought it. It is indeed etiolated, as is the P. tuberosus on the right. In the future I hope to provide better growing conditions (more direct sunlight, colder rest, etc...) and in a year or so place them outside. I live in a small appartment, but am renovating a house with a garden where we move to in June.
Location
Antwerp, Belgium
temperate, maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers
south-west facing window in a city appartment
min. winter temp. 16°C/60.8°F
no outdoor or winter rest capability
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mikethecactusguy
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:51 am
Location: Indio Ca
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by mikethecactusguy »

You should buy some grow lights to augment the lighting. Leggy growth never fills in. They will always look that way. Just a suggestion
Mike M
Last edited by mikethecactusguy on Tue Mar 15, 2022 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike The Cactus Guy
Enjoying the Spines
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ohugal
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by ohugal »

Ok. Thanks. I grow them in my bedroom, so that's not really an option. Anyway, I a few months they'll be in front of a large window receiving lots of direct sunlight. I'll also be able to install extra lighting if necessary. Unfortunately the appartment came first, then the succulents...
Location
Antwerp, Belgium
temperate, maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers
south-west facing window in a city appartment
min. winter temp. 16°C/60.8°F
no outdoor or winter rest capability
DaveW
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, England/UK

Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by DaveW »

The stiff spined form like yours used to be known as P. skottsbergii, but is often lumped under P. hickenii.

Norbert and Elizabeth Sarnes have done a lot of work on Pterocactus and Austrocactus and their Pterocactus book can be read here.

http://cactus-de-patagonia.de/wp-conten ... _SAR_E.pdf

Pterocactus do not like high temperatures and like good ventilation since it is windy in many places they come from so do not overheat in the sun. They do well in my cold greenhouse down to freezing over winter or outside in summer and flower well. They tend to be rambling plants and most are not really for the show bench.

Unlike most cacti the flowers are terminal on the stems so once that stem has flowered it is "blind" and cannot grow any longer so has to branch out at the side or produce another flower from the side. You can see the cavity from the previous years flower in the end of the stem below and the new flower from the side which when it dies will leave a similar cavity.

Pterocactus-HPT-791.jpg
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As you can see below they are interesting rather than attractive out of flower and being tuberous rooted in addition to leaving craters in the end of the stems when they flower the tips of stems (maybe aborted flowers?) or the branch itself can often die off. In habitat the branches are often lost in the dry season and regenerate from the tuber the next year and flower.

Pterocactus-2-HPT.jpg
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Pterocactus tuberosus is usually the easiest to obtain since it falls apart more than the others in winter, often shedding a lot of the top branches, something that is normal in habitat. One way of often getting it to flower is to remove many of the top branches and it will regenerate some new ones and immediately flower, the plant below has a tuber as large as a golf ball.

tuberosus.jpg
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MrXeric
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Location: California, USDA zone 10a

Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by MrXeric »

That's a great book, thanks for sharing Dave.
DaveW
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by DaveW »

The Sarnes have also done a book on Austrocactus from the same regions, but I don't think it is online. I think Daiv stocked it in US and so did Keith's Cactus Books in UK but whether they still have it I do not know?

https://exoticplantbooks.com/detail/?product_id=1110

Norbert and Elizabeth are probably the leading authorities on Patagonian cacti and have their own website that can usually be translated using Googles auto translator or similar.

http://cactus-de-patagonia.de/

If you click on the links in the following it will take you to pictures.

http://cactus-de-patagonia.de/kakteen

I was lucky and managed to get quite a few different species of Austrocactus from Norbert before the UK came out of the EU and made importing difficult.
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ohugal
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Re: Pterocactus hickenii

Post by ohugal »

Indeed! I read it with pleasure. As soon as I have space to sow these, I will.
Location
Antwerp, Belgium
temperate, maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers
south-west facing window in a city appartment
min. winter temp. 16°C/60.8°F
no outdoor or winter rest capability
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