Obregonia denegrii
"Artichoke Cactus"

An Artichoke Cactus in my garden in late February

     Obregonia is a monotypic genus from Tamaulipas Mexico. It is related to Ariocarpus and named for Alvaro Obregon, a former president of Mexico. It is also sacred to several Mexican Indian tribes. Obregonia denegrii is distinctive and cannot be mistaken for anything else. It resembles a large wooly centered artichoke lying among the rocks, hence the common name. Like Ariocarpus, O. denegrii shrivels and retracts into the ground to escape drought and cold. With the spring rains it puffs up again and begins it's summer growth cycle. A mature O. denegrii can reach five inches across and will produce 1-1/2 inch white white flowers. They are solitary and can only be propagated from seed.
     I had never seen a cacti like this before so I bought two of these in 2005. I decided to chance putting them in the ground. They came through teir first winter unscathed and even added some wool to their crowns. I am very pleased :-) Hopefully they're large enough to flower, but I haven't seen any yet.

Update June 4th 2006. One of mine has a flower! And the next day two!

Two more
the next day
All images and text are copyright 2005-2009 D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.