Borzicactus (2002)

PhotoBy Jonathan Watt (February 2002)

Borzicacti are a great addition to any collection because of their general beauty and bright orange or red flowers. Depending on the species, they can be erect or pendant-growing. The spines completely encircle the stems and are yellow or white. The genus as a whole is native to Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and northern Chile.

The columnar species generally need to grow above 20 inches before they bloom. Borzicacti are known to bloom in the summer and fall, which is an added bonus, as not many cacti bloom then.

As far as culture, a good cactus mix will do fine for soil, but Borzicactus species need a little warmth and light over the winter. (Sometime I would like to find a genus of cacti that will be cozy and thrive next to my aspidistra in the dark parlor.)

I don’t have an exact number of members in this genus, but here are some to try: B. sextonianus, a miniature that blooms regularly; and B. sampaipatanus, a beauty with golden spines and large red flowers on a columnar plant. Of course, cacti like to break the rules of botanists – B. madisoniorum looks more like a lophophora cactus because of its barrrel shape and absence of spines.