My Matucana madisoniorums in bloom

     Native to Peru, Matucana consists of twenty or so species of spherical to slightly columnar cacti. They are named for the town of Matucana where the first species was discovered in 1849.
     Matucanas can be solitary or clustering, and have attractive spines and flowers. Flowers are produced in the spring and summer. They may be red, pink, orange, yellow, or white. Matucanas should be kept warm in winter, since they have a tendency to lose their roots if they are kept wet and cold. For this reason they are best kept as potted specimens and brought in over winter.
     Cultivation is the same as for most other cacti, a fast draining mix, adequate water in summer and little in winter. Monthly applications of a half strength tomato fertilizer helps with flowering.

I have two Matucana in my collection

Matucana madisonorium

Matucana aureiflora
All images and text are copyright 2006 D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.