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GYMNOCALYCIUM multiflorum

Image of Gymnocalycium multiflorum

Mark A. Miller

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

GYMNOCALYCIUM multiflorum

Plant Common Name

Many-flowered Gymnocalycium

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Pale golden spines and large, white flowers are the ornamental highlights of the many-flowered chin cactus. This perennial cactus species is native to the arid grassy highlands in north-central Argentina. Although a tidy globe in shape when young, older specimens become elongated, growing into erect columns or flopping to the ground with an erect growing tip. Over decades, one plant multiplies into a clump of many stems.

Instead of foliage, cacti modified their leaves to become protective spines while the stem became swollen and stored moisture. This chin cactus' stem has 10 to 15 ribs. Five to 10 yellow, curved spines appear in radial clusters on areole bumps on the top of the ribs. Just below the spine cluster is a chin-like bump that gives this species its common name. In the warmth of spring and into midsummer, oval, scaled flower buds appear from the tip of the cactus. A flower is predominantly white, but may have hints of pale pink. Numerous flowers occur, each lasting up to three days. A rounded, green fruit follows if the blooms are pollinated.

Grow the many-flowered chin cactus in full sun in a sandy, very well-drained soil. This plant also grows well in containers, both indoors and out. Use a special cactus potting mix and keep the soil barely moist in winter, and a drier during the warmer months of summer. If grown indoors, place the container where it receives as much light as possible. Outdoors, where winter frosts are rare or absent, use this cactus in a rockery or hillside in a water-conservation garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    13, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    5"-18" / 12.7cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    3"-6" / 7.6cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Pink

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No