By W. Watson
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Extra info for Cactus Culture for Amateurs
Ribs eight or nine in number, rounded, somewhat undulated, and bearing spine-tufts nearly 1 in. apart; each tuft contains about ten spines, which are almost equal in length, fine, stiff, brown, and persistent; there is a little cushion of white wool about the base of the spines. Flowers produced on the side, within a few inches of the top of the stem; they are composed of a scaly tube, 4 in. long, a circular row of spreading, incurved, pale brown sepals, and two rows of broad, overlapping, snow-white petals; stamens white, with yellow anthers; stigma yellow.
Some of the kinds have spines 4 in. long, broad at the base, and hooked towards the point, the hooks being wonderfully strong, whilst in others the spines are long and needle-like, or short and fine as the prickles on a thistle. The stems vary much in size and form, being globose, or compressed, or ovate, a few only being cylindrical, and attaining a height of from 5 ft. to 10 ft. They are almost always simple— that is, without branches, unless they are compelled to form such by cutting out or injuring the top of the stem; the ridges vary in number from about five to ten times that number, and they are in some species very firm and prominent, in others reduced to mere undulations, whilst in a few, they are separated into numerous little tubercles or mammae.
Small plants should have a fair shift; larger ones only into a size of pot which just admits of a thin layer of fresh soil. When pot-bound, the plants flower most freely, and it is not necessary to repot large specimens more often than about once every three years. When potted they should be placed in a sunny position in a close house or frame, and be kept freely watered. In bright weather they may be syringed overhead twice a day. For the first few days after repotting it is advisable to shade the plants from bright sunshine.
Cactus Culture for Amateurs by W. Watson