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Turbinicarpus - Turbinicarpus


Genus Turbinicarpus (Turbinicarpus) - (from the Latin words turbinatus - pectiform and carpus - fruit). The stem is spherical, with wide low papillae located on it. Spines usually fall off soon. Naked flowers and fruits, - Mexico. 9 species are known.

Large-barbed turbine (Turbinicarpus macrochele) Stem up to 3 cm tall and 4 cm in diameter, gray-green. Prickles 3-5, all up to 4 cm long, flattened, arranged randomly, often curled, young - dirty yellow, with a darker tip, later - dark gray. Flowers are about 2.5 cm long, the petals are narrow, white, with a purple-pink central stripe. - Mexico.

Turbinarpus lophophoroid (Turbinicarpus lophophoroides) The stem is up to 3.5 cm tall and 4.5 cm in diameter, elongated in the grafted state. Papillae 2-4 mm high, 4-6-angled. Spines 2-4, up to 8 mm long, all white, with a dark tip. The flowers are about 3.5 cm in diameter, pale pink. - Mexico, at an altitude of about 1200 m above sea level.

Turbinicarpus Schmidike (Turbinicarpus schmiedickeanus) The stem is shortened-cylindrical, up to 5 cm high and 3 cm in diameter. Top with white felt pubescence and spines. Spines 3-4, strongly twisted, up to 2.5 cm long, upper shorter, flattened thick, dark gray-brown. Pink flowers with a purple central stripe on the petals. - Mexico.

Source: "In the world of cacti", Udalova R. A., Vyugina N. G., 1983


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These succulent plants grow mainly on limestone soil (never on volcanic soil), at heights of 300 to 3300 meters above sea level.

Turbinicarpus the species is usually limited to a specific habitat, usually hostile to most plants, mainly in very drained rocky areas, consisting of limestone, sandstone, schists (neutral or alkaline), or in a very acidic and humiferous undergrowth, or in gypsum veins are sometimes so pure that they are almost white in color.

In particular, Turbinicarpus literally , adapted to extreme niches: more than 80% of species grow in rock crevices or among pebbles beneath them, where there is enough dust accumulated to allow root development. It would seem almost impossible that the plants are so small that they could survive in such conditions, however, in those species that inhabit dry and open areas, the root is very thick, becomes a rod root and acts like an anchor on the slopes, but, more importantly, because for storing water for dry periods that can be substantially drawn into the ground so that the trunk is less exposed to the sun, the spikes are often modified to take on the very Papery structure, which can absorb good amounts of water. In addition, the overall appearance is extremely mimetic, thanks to the color of the epidermis and the interweaving of thorns, guaranteeing a certain protection against possible herbivores.


Taxonomic history of the genus Turbinicarpus is quite complex and often mixed with other genera like echinocactus , Echinomastus , Gymnocactus , Mammillaria , Neolloydia , Normanbokea , Pediocactus , pelecifor , Strombocactus , Thelocactus and Toumeya as the results of almost two centuries of constant evolution in the understanding of kinship and relationships within Cactus families. Many points of view on classification Turbinicarpus available now. The revision of the genus from Davide Donati in 2003 and again in 2004 with Carlo Zanovello, was based on:

At the end of this study, Rapicactus was considererd as a special genus from Turbinicarpus . Kind Turbinicarpus was divided into 2 subgenera in light of the results of DNA analysis, and in many series due to ontogenesis of spines.

Guidelines for caring for a turbinicarpus - home growing

    Lighting. For home cultivation, you should put a pot with a plant on the windowsill of a window facing east or west, in the south - they build a shade that protects from direct sunlight, especially in summer.

The temperature of the content. In the spring-summer period, it is necessary to maintain room heat indicators (20-24 degrees), but with the advent of autumn they are reduced to a range of 6-10 units. Such a “wintering” will contribute to the further lush flowering of the turbinicarpus.

Air humidity at home cultivation it can be lowered, spraying is harmful.

Watering Turbinicarpus. In the spring-summer period, it is necessary to carry out moistening of the soil in a pot with this cactus, moderately and accurately, trying to prevent moisture drops from falling on the surface of the stem. Waterlogging is not recommended. In the winter months, the rest phase begins and dry maintenance is required. If the recommended temperature drops in the room are not maintained and watering is carried out in standard mode, then, as a result, the outline of the stem becomes pear-shaped and the plant begins to hurt. Water is used only warm and well-maintained.

Fertilizer. From the beginning of spring days to September, it is recommended to feed the turbinicarpus using universal preparations for succulents and cacti in the dosage indicated by the manufacturer.

  • Transfer. The cactus is slow growing, so the pot is changed as it grows - once every few years. It is better to take a small container, but a wide one and put a layer of drainage on the bottom. It is recommended to buy the soil that is intended for succulents and cacti with pH values ​​of pH 5.0-6.0. If the grower decided to make a substrate for Turbinicarpus on their own, then clay soil, crushed peat, coarse sand in equal proportions are mixed for him. Also, a small amount of expanded clay and crushed charcoal are introduced into a similar soil mixture. After planting, the top of the soil is covered with fine expanded clay.
  • Tips for breeding a turbinicarpus at home

    You can get a new miniature cactus by sowing seed material, which is collected independently or purchased in a flower shop.

    Before planting turbinicarpus seeds, they must be soaked for a day in a weak solution of potassium permanganate (the color of such a liquid should be slightly pink) or a suspension of benlat. Sowing is carried out in a pot filled with a mixture of soil and perlite (for looseness). A small layer of quartz sand is poured on top, and a little is sprayed from the spray gun. Seeds are distributed on the surface, and then the container itself is covered with a piece of glass or wrapped in a transparent plastic bag. This will help to create conditions for mini-greenhouses. The pot should be placed in such a place that bright, but diffused lighting is provided at a temperature of about 20-25 degrees.

    Seedlings of some species begin to germinate the very next day, while others "wait" a week break. When a month passes, you can pick out young plants. After this, the young Turbinicarpus are placed in a more deliberated place, but with a shadow from the direct rays of the sun, which can burn the shoots.

    There is evidence that it is not recommended to plant such cacti, unless it is necessary to obtain seeds in the future. In this case, it is necessary to use Harrisia as a stock.

    Diseases and pests of the turbinicarpus at home cultivation

    You can please cactus fans with the fact that the plant is quite resistant to diseases and pests, but still, with constant violation of the conditions of maintenance, Turbinicarpus can be affected by a root and mealybug. For treatment, it is recommended to treat with insecticidal and acaricidal drugs. With frequent flooding of the soil, the root system can suffer from putrefactive processes that provoke both disease and rot. Immediate transplantation into a sterile container with pre-treatment with fungicides will be required.

    When carrying out unbalanced top dressings or their incorrect dosage, the sizes of turbinocactus become large, and as you know, this plant is famous for its miniature parameters. These same procedure errors lead to a decrease in the number of spines, as well as “vague” forms of tubercles. Such plants begin to weaken quickly, wintering for them becomes a real test, and flowering is weak.

    Since, under natural conditions, Turbinicarpus species grow at a great distance from each other, the pollination usually does not occur and the colony, so to speak, retains its “purity”. But if you place pots with different types of this cactus on the windowsill, the process of transferring pollen from one flower to another is inevitable and the owner will become the owner of hybrids with an unattractive appearance. Therefore, when the flowering period of such plants begins, it is recommended to put them away from each other.

    To flower growers on a note about a turbinicarpus, photo of a flower

    In 1927, Karl Bedecker presented a description of Echinocactus schmedikianus (Echinocactus schmiedickeanus), which was just discovered and was the first specimen of this group. Then in 1929, Alvin Berger (1871–1931), a gardener and botanist from Germany, the plant was assigned to the new genus Strombocactus. The second taxon was described by a passionate cactus researcher, the German botanist Eric Verderman (1892–1959) in 1931, and the name Echinocactus macrochele, which five years later the botanist Kurt Bakerberg (1894–1966) also included genus Strombocactus. Already in the 30s of the last century, Verderman described the Telocactus lophophoid (Thelocactus lophophoroides), which in 1935, with the assistance of German colleague Reinhard Gustav Paul Knut (1874–1957), was also referred to the genus Strombocactus. This representative of the flora, along with Strombocactus pseudomacrochele (Strombocactus pseudomacrochele), a description of which was published in 1936, was added to the genus Turbinicarpus. The same botanist from Germany K. Bakeberg and the Australian cactus taxonist Franz Buxbaum (1900–1979) were engaged in the installation of this genus. They completed their activities in this direction in 1937.

    Types of turbinicarpus

      Turbinicarpus alonsoi. The plant got its specific name thanks to the boy from Mexico Alonso Gasia Luna, who was the first to discover this species when he took part in the expedition of the famous American researcher and collector of such plants, Charles Edward Glass (1934–1998). This cactus is endemic to the Mexican state of Guanajuato. The plant has a single stem of a flat, spherical shape, varying in height in the range of 6–9 cm. Almost the entire surface of the stem is under the soil and is measured in length in the range of 9–10 cm. On the shoot there are ribs arranged in a spiral pattern and divided into tubercles. Their color is grayish green. From the very beginning, areoles have a brown woolly coating, but later its color turns gray. There are 3-5 spines in length, not exceeding 2 cm in length. Their outlines are flattened, gray in color with a darker apex. In the process of flowering, buds open, the color of the petals of which varies from pinkish-purple to cherry red, while in the central part there is a more brightly colored strip. The length of the flower is 2 cm, the edge of the petals with denticles. The pestle has a white color. The fruit contains about a hundred seeds, with the help of which the reproduction takes place.

    Turbinicarpus lophophoid (Turbinicarpus lophphrokte). This variety is the owner of a stalk of a club-shaped, bluish color with a grayish-green tint. The height of the shoots can reach 10 cm, under natural conditions, cacti create small groups in size. The root has a massive shape, on the top of the stem there is pubescence from bunches formed by whitish felt. The spines on the ribs are grayish-black in color, they are not hard to the touch. When flowering in the summertime, inflorescences of pink flowers open at the top of the stem. Fruits the plant with berries with seeds of a grayish-brown color. In a culture prone to damage by rot of the root system.

    Clinker Turbinicarpus (Turbinicarpus klinkerianus). This variety has 12 forms, which, when grown home, require plentiful hydration and a hot temperature. The stem is spherical with a non-shiny surface, painted in emerald-violet color. Lateral shoots are not formed. On a smooth top there is a whitish felt pubescence. Radial spines grow bent to the top of the shoot, they are painted in a snow-white tone. When flowering, buds with dull white petals open, each with a dark border. These cacti are very unpretentious when grown at home.

    Krainz Turbinicarpus (Turbinicarpus krainzianus). On the stem is the formation of a large number of spines of star-shaped outlines of brown tint. They beautifully set off the grayish surface of the stem, which has no lateral shoots. At the apex there is a pubescence of whitish hairs. Rib spines, rather thinned, and have a bend up, their color is brownish-yellow. Flowers with creamy white petals, fruits with a brownish-gray surface.

    Turbinicarpus Polaskii. On the stem of this cactus there are areoles that give rise to bent thorns. The color of the tapered stem is greenish-blue. There are no shoots growing on the sides. Throughout the summer, snow-pink buds bloom at the top of the stem.

    Turbinicarpus roseaceae (Turbinicarpus roseiflorus). The stalk of a cactus has a spherical shape and an emerald hue. It grows solely, without giving lateral processes. On the surface, rib-tubercles form, and at the very top there is a whitish pubescence. Radial spines tend to fall over time. Their color is pinkish, the location is lucid. The hue of the central thorns is coal, they grow vertically at the top. The inflorescences that adorn the top of the stem consist of flowers of a creamy-pinkish color. A burgundy strip adorns them along the petals.

  • Turbinicarpus schmidickeanus (Turbinicarpus schmiedickeanus). The stem has a spherical shape, its surface is painted in a gray-green hue. On the shoot, the formation of low tubercles of large sizes takes place, in the white-pubescent areoles, thorns with a strong bend originate. The flowering process stretches from late spring to September. Snow-white petals, funnel-shaped corolla. The diameter at full disclosure reaches 2 cm.

  • Below is a video of flowering turbinicarpus:

    1.1.Temperature conditions

    In spring and summer, the warm content is at a temperature of 18 - 28 ° C. In the winter months, a dormant period sets in, which the plants must spend in a cool room with a temperature of about 10 ° C.


    For the onset of flowering and maintaining a compact form, the turbinicarpus is grown in a well-lit place with direct sunlight in the morning and evening. In spring and summer, a slight shade is possible during the day, but in autumn and winter it is worth providing maximum light.

    1.4 Substrate

    Soil should easily pass water and air; pH of the turbine hull is undemanding. A mixture of leaf humus, sod land with a large amount of large river sand or perlite is suitable to improve drainage and small pieces of charcoal. You can use the finished substrate for cacti and succulents.

    1.10 Transplant

    Plant the plants as needed in deep unglazed pots with large drainage holes.The turbinicarpus has a rooted root system, which requires enough space. After transplanting, stop watering for 7 to 10 days.