Sunday, June 10, 2012

SUCCULENT SUNDAY: Copiapoa hypogaea

Continuing the theme of "odd miniatures", Copiapoa hypogaea is a spiral, brown or bronzed disc-shaped cactus, 3 or 4cm in the wild or larger 7cm in cultivation.

The pictured plant shows the larger, luxurious, 7cm size of its cushy lifestyle. In habitat, most of the body is under the ground's surface. Spines are small and relatively harmless. Some individuals lack spines entirely. Flowers are yellow and reportedly somewhat fragrant, though I didn't notice much fragrance wafting from the pictured plant.

More unusual is the 'Lizard Skin' variety with a wrinkly epidermis found in only one of the two subpopulations of C hypogaea in the wild. Pictured here is the more typical variety.
Native to area near Chañaral (Coastal Chile, 02 Antofagasta).

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