Rare succulents: 4 of the most beautiful

The Escobaria Minima

The rare succulent plant Escobaria Minima belongs to the Cactaceae family. Originally it belonged to the genus Mammillaria, but later the botanists Britton and Rose created a specific genus (Escobaria). Escobaria Minima is considered rare because it is currently only found in a small area of ​​Texas: Brewster County. It has a globe-cylindrical shape and tubercles with longitudinal furrows (for this reason the botanists Benson and Zimmerman believe that it can be considered a subspecies of the genus Coryphantha). As for flowering, it is possible to admire splendid green, red, purple or yellow flowers in late spring or early summer. Like most rare succulents it should not be watered in winter and, despite being able to survive even at temperatures below zero degrees centigrade, it prefers rather high temperatures.

Euphorbia Ambovombensis

Euphorbia Ambovombensis belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Like all plants belonging to this family, it contains a whitish liquid, called “latex”, which, although extremely dangerous, is used to produce rubber. Due to the toxic potential of Euphorbia Ambovombensis latex, it is essential to ensure that you do not have open wounds when handling it, as poison could enter the body through them. Like most rare succulentsalso Euphorbia Ambovombensis can only be found in a rather restricted area of ​​the globe: it is the territory of Ambovombe in southern Madagascar. In order for it not to die, it is particularly important to protect it from low winter temperatures: in the period of the year when the ambient temperature begins to drop, it must be moved from the garden (or balcony) inside the house.

The Mammillaria Pectinifera

Mammillaria Pectinifera like Escobaria Minima also belongs to the Cactaceae family. An interesting feature of this rare succulent is that it was included in Michael S. Smith’s list of narcotic and hallucinogenic cacti due to its psychoactive content. Mammillaria Pectinifera grows only in a small area in the tropical south of Mexico: the Tehuacán Valley, northwest of Oaxaca. In nature it grows in the shade but, by keeping it in the garden or on the balcony, it can be safely exposed to the sun. As with Euphorbia Ambovombensis and other rare succulents, care must be taken to move it indoors when the ambient temperature drops below 4 degrees centigrade. The flowers of Mammillaria Pectinifera are pale pink and are arranged in a ring around the body.

Rare succulents: 4 of the most beautiful: Astrophytum Asterias

Astrophytum Asterias, belonging to the Cactaceae family, is perhaps the most endangered among the rare succulents. In fact, only 5,000 existing specimens have been estimated. Over-exploitation of pastures as well as illegal harvesting constitute a constant danger of extinction for this plant. Its peculiar feature is in its shape: it resembles a star. After all, its name really means “resembling a star”. For some botanists, however, its shape is more reminiscent of the shell of a sea urchin than a star. It is a rather delicate plant. It is particularly sensitive to water stagnation. Its roots, in fact, are not suitable for absorbing a large amount of water. Therefore, if the Astrophytum Asterias is watered excessively, it can happen that water accumulates near the roots causing them to rot. To prevent this from happening, it is first of all necessary to keep it in well-drained soil and limit irrigation to the hottest months.

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