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Rebutia marsoneri

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Beautiful Bloomer

What I like the best about this catus is the large flowers which are almost too big for the cactus itself. The brightly coloured blooms come in orange, yellow, deep red or white. They grow from around the bottom part of the cactus stem. I also love the cactus’ compact round shape where small bumps grow neatly in downward spiral formation. On each bumps, grow short cottony white spines. When the cactus has matured enough, it will grow many offsets from around the base and will eventually clump tightly together.

The easiest propagation is by dividing the offsets. Watering is necessary during growing season but wait until the soil is dry. Just like most other cacti, Rebutia needs warm and sunny position with good air circulation and less humidity. A good feed of complete fertilizer  is also needed in growing season.

When these Rebutias are flowering, they will take your breath away. When not in blooms, the dark green cacti’s neat globular shape with less intimidating white spines are… really pretty to look at.

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Euphorbia obesa…Rot in Peace

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I am very upset now! One of my Euphorbia obesa plants died. It was getting very soft and eventually it collapsed.

I bought two Euphorbia obesa cactus more than ten years ago. One day we went for a drive to the Mornington Peninsula and there was a Sunday market in Hastings. In this country market I bought a pair of Euphorbia obesa which is also known as Baseball plant. It was supposed to be a male and a female pair. The seller told me that I should buy a pair to produce seeds.

To cut the story short, one of these rare South African cactus plants, I think the female one, was never grown as good as the other one (male). It was always stunted and kind of yellow. Both had flowers but they never produced seeds. After more than ten years sulking and miserable, lately I started to notice that it was very soft and more yellow. I was already very careful during this winter to keep it dry and warm. But it did not help at all. Yesterday it completely collapsed. I took both plants out of the pot and  replanted the healthy one into a different pot and I cut the dead one into 2 sections to see what was happening inside the poor plant. The inside was mushy and it had holes (similar to lotus root).

For a long time I had tried to buy more Euphorbia obesa in the shop but it was not available. I can buy different species of Euphorbia, but not the obesa. I have two other euphorbias – E. anoplia and E. melbraformis.

Well, I have to be careful with my cactus plants now. No more over watering. I am really sad to think that one of those Baseball plants was slowly and silently rotting away…. or should I say that it was rotten in peace???

To view my previous post about Euphorbia obesa:

https://kiyanti2008.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/my-baseball-plants/

Euphorbia melbraformis:

Euphorbia melbraformis

Euphorbia anoplia

My Baseball Plants

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More than ten years ago we went to Western Port Bay (Mornington Peninsula), Victoria Australia and we stopped at a Sunday market in small town of Hastings. There we bought  two unusual plants called Baseball Plant. The friendly man who sold the plant told us to buy two of them, the male and the female one. This way he said we would have a chance for the well rounded cacti to flower and produce some seeds. Unfortunately, up today, eventhough these plants are still alive, they never produce the valuable seeds.

What is a Baseball Plant?

Baseball Plant is also known by the name of Euphorbia obesa or Klipnoor. Originally it is from the Great Karo land in South Africa. Over collecting for many years has made this unusual plant rare on the wild and now is strictly protected.

Growing Need

(from: http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Euphorbiaceae/Euphorbia_obesa.html)

Recommended Temperature Zone:

 
Sunset: 4-9, 11,13-17, 31-34

USDA: 9b-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy down to 28°F (-2°C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 45°F (7°C)

Sun Exposure: Light shade, morning sun

Growth Habits: Succulent, up to 8 inches high (20 cm)

Watering Needs: moderate water in Summer, keep dry in winter

Propagation: Seeds, sexes are separated, so a male and a female plant are needed for the fecundation

 


Cultural Practices:
This species is dormant in winter, keep it totally dry at or around 40°F (4°C).

Blooming Habits:
The tiny flowers are delicately scented. They form at the top of the plant. This species is dioecious (meaning that there are male plants and female plants).

When the plant is still young it is symmetrically rounded and resembles a sea urchin shell. When aged, it tends to have a longer shape. Like many other succulents and cacti, it produces milky sap that can irritate sensitive skin.

This is the picture of my Baseball Plants (over 10 years old):

baseball-plants1