Rebutia fiebrigii


Succulentopedia

Rebutia fiebrigii (Orange Crown Cactus)

Rebutia fiebrigii (Orange Crown Cactus) is a small cactus, solitary at first, later offsetting to form compact mound. The stems are…


Rebutia fiebrigii

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name:Rebutiafiebrigii
  • Common name: Barrel cactus
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Plant Type: Cactus or succulent, House plant

Rebutia fiebrigii is a small barrel cactus, native to Bolivia and North-West Argentina. It has white spines in contrast with dark green foliage. Its daisy-like flowers are a striking orange colour.

For best results grow Rebutia fiebrigii in cactus compost in a container, in bright light. It’s ideally grown as a houseplant but may be taken on to a sunny patio in summer. Water sparingly during the growing season, and feed once a month. Stop watering in autumn.


Rebutia fiebrigii - garden

Origin and Habitat: Bolivia (Chuquisaca, Tarija, Cochabamba, Salta, Jujuy, Potosí, Santa Cruz)
Altitude: 2100-4000 metres above sea level.
Habitat: This cactus can be found in prepuna shrublands, in high, dry, rocky grasslands in valleys and rocky slopes of the Andes in fully exposed sites and in cliffs near rivers and riverbeds. Inhabitants must be very rugged in order to tolerate such extremes in exposure. Rebutia fiebrigii is such a robust individual. Rebutia fiebrigii is an abundant species. The population is stable because it is not exposed to any major threat.

  • Rebutia fiebrigii (Gürke) Britton & Rose in L.H.Bailey & L.H.Bailey
    • Aylostera fiebrigii (Gürke) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
    • Echinocactus fiebrigii Gürke
    • Echinorebutia fiebrigii (Gürke) Frič & Kreuz.

Description: Rebutia fiebrigii is a small solitary or mound-forming cactus preading out to 15 cm with white, silky, short spines and light green tubercles thickly covering the body. It is a free-flowering species with bright vermilion blooms, but quite variable. Nowadays, under the name of Rebutia fiebrigii, botanists include several different forms, that were previously regarded as independent species.
Stem: Roundish to slightly elongated, depressed at the top, 50-60 mm wide and tall, glossy green, flat, covered by distinctive tubercles similar to a Mammillaria, that are easy to see through the small spines. It grows quite close to the ground and offsets only with age. It would appear that in cultivation they grow larger and cluster more vigorously than in habitat.
Ribs: About 18, straight to spirally arranged tuberculate
Tubercles: Up to 5 mm high conical.
Areoles: Rather large, elliptical, white-tomentose.
Spines: 30-40, all more or less similar, the central ones slightly larger, variously bristly, white, yellowish or pale brown, bristle-like, fine and soft.
Radial spines:About 10 mm long, white.
Central spines: 2 to 5 somewhat stronger, needle-like, to 20 mm long, light to dark brown often with brown tips.
Flowers: Flowers produced halfway up the stems, curving upward, yellow, bright orange or vermilion red, funnel-shaped, 25-45 mm long, 4 cm diameter. Tube narrow 10-18 mm long, outside pale greenish to reddish, inside pale. Ovary spherical, about 4 mm wide, with small triangular scales with few white wool few white bristly hairs. Tepals vermilion red, rather rounded, often slightly serrated, 14-16 mm long, 4-6 mm wide. Filaments white, anthers golden yellow. Pistil white, with 5-6 white stigma lobes 2-3 mm long, slightly protruding the anthers.
Blooming season: Flowers all tend to come in one late Spring rush, rather than spread over the Summer, and remain open for up to six days.
Fruit: Tiny, spherical, berrylike, about 5 mm wide, greenish-brown to purplish, with white wool and bristly, hidden among the spines, bursting when ripe.
Seeds: Brown-black, about 1 mm long and 0.6 mm wide, with brownish oval hilum.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Rebutia fiebrigii group

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
3) David R Hunt Nigel P Taylor Graham Charles International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
4) N. L. Britton, J. N. Rose “The Cactaceae. Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family.” Volume 4, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington 1923
5) Curt Backeberg “Die Cactaceae: Handbuch der Kakteenkunde” Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart New York 1982–1985
6) Backeberg, Curt "Das Kakteenlexikon" p. 70, 1966
7) Pilbeam, John "Rebutia" p. 40, 1997
8) Ritter, Friedrich "Kakteen in Südamerika" 2: 618, 1980
9) Šída, Otakar "Rod Rebutia", p. 56, 1997
10) Barbara Segall"Botanica: the illustrated A-Z of over 10,000 garden plants and how to cultivate them" Mynah, 1997
11) Lowry, M. 2013. Rebutia fiebrigii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 28 April 2015.


Rebutia fiebrigii Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Rebutia friebrigii Bolivia cactus tour 2016 Photo by: Guillermo Rivera
Rebutia fiebrigii Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli

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Cultivation and Propagation: Rebutia narvaecensis comes from mountainous areas, so like bright light, and cool and dry conditions in the winter. It has delightful flowers and the plants remain compact, and clumps can easily be managed by division. It is easy to cultivate and recommended for beginners.
Growth rate: It is a slow growing but easily flowering species that will make clumps given the best conditions.
Soils: This species is easy to cultivate in a very open mineral mix with at least 50% sand or pumice grit and a pH slightly on the acidic side.
Repotting: They are small container size plants and prefer deep pots and good drainage to accommodate their tap roots, but they rot prone, because of the sensitivity to excess of watering, not easy to get to any large size on their own roots (it's really a challenge to grow them into a large clump). They will occupy a small pot comfortably, and eventually remain a manageable sized house plant. It is better that they are repotted regularly. Repotting will increase the number and size of stems, and will increase the number of flowers produced. Repot yearly until they reach about 100 mm in size, then every two or three years will suffice. Repotting is best done at the end of winter, but can be done at other times, too. Do not water for a couple of weeks after repotting, to reduce risk of root rot via broken roots. A layer of 'pea' gravel at the bottom of the pot improves drainage. A layer of decorative gravel as a top dressing helps prevent the caking of the potting mix, which decreases the rate of water absorption. It also keeps the perlite and pumice from blowing everywhere, and looks nice.
Watering: It requires full sun or light shade and careful watering to keep plant compact, and maintain strong and dense spines and allow the pot to dry out between waterings. Keep dry in winter at a minimum temperature of 0°C. It tends to rot if too wet. The plants can be placed outdoors in April, but protected from rain and direct sunlight. Water them thoroughly when placed out, and again in two weeks, and again in one week. After one month the plants are ready to be placed out in full sun and full rain for the summer. During dry spells the collection is watered once a week, during hot dry spells, twice a week.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Hardiness: It is reputedly resistant to frost if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather and requires a winter rest period (hardy to -7° C, or less for short periods). Rebutias grow in nature at high altitudes, and do not thrive well at high temperatures in cultivation. They will often go dormant in mid-summer, and resume growth again when the weather cools in late August. They can tolerate amazingly low temperatures for long periods of time. All species can take a frost, even when not bone dry. It is generally accepted that plants kept at too high a temperature, or watered too much during the winter rest period, will not bloom the following year. They will be perfectly happy in pots outdoors from April to September if protected from torrential rain and hail.
Exposition: The plant tolerates extremely bright situations but enjoys filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Tends to bronze in strong light, which encourages flowering and heavy spine production, but is likely to suffer from sun scorch or stunted growth if over exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in summer.
Uses: It is a fine plant for a rock garden or container, contrasts well with agaves, yuccas, and low-growing flowering plants. This variety is also likely to flower as a house plant, but results will depend on a variety of growing conditions.
Pests & diseases: All, especially the young, are susceptible to red spider mites.
Rot: It is especially prone to root rot, therefore, underpot in a smaller container filled with very porous compost. However rot it is only a minor problem with rebutias if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Offsets, seeds. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21-27° C in spring or summer remove gradually the glass cover as soon the plants will be well rooted (ca 1-2 weeks) and keep ventilated, no full sun for young plants! The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted, after which they can be planted separately in small pots. To make a cutting twist off a branch and permit it to dry out a couple of weeks, lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the soil. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward.
Note: It would appear that in cultivation they grow larger and cluster more vigorously than in habitat.


Rebutia fiebrigii - garden

Accepted Scientific Name: Rebutia fiebrigii (Gürke) Britton & Rose in L.H.Bailey & L.H.Bailey
Stand. Cycl. Hort. 5: 2915. 1916

Origin and Habitat: Rebutia fiebrigii var. densiseta occurs in Chuquisaca, Tarija, Bolivia.
Altitude range: 2800-3500 metres above sea level.

Description: Rebutia fiebrigii var. densiseta is a local or morphological form of the widespread and variable Rebutia fiebrigii noted for its dense spination, the central and radial spines difficult to distinguish, but centrals white with amber or brown tips giving the plants a pleasant golden shine. The dense spination, hiding almost completely the body, makes it considerably different in appearance from the type. However the distinguishing characteristics of Rebutia fiebrigii var. densiseta, appear to fall within the natural variation of Rebutia fiebrigii and most authors synonymize it with the latter, but it still has a value for a collector because they identify plants with particular characters.
Habit: It is a low growing, slightly smaller clustering form of Rebutia fiebrigii.
Stem: Globular to oval, with around 17 rows of tubercles (smaller than the type).
Spines: 2-20 mm long, thick, dense, the central and radial spines difficult to distinguish.
Radial spines: 25-50 pure white.
Central spines: 2-5 upward facing, white with amber or light brown tips , slightly stronger than the radials (noticeably darker and stronger in full sun).
Flowers: Brilliant red-orange, 2.5-4 cm long. Style merged with the tube, stigma white. Tubes and buds greener than the type.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Rebutia fiebrigii group

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) John Pilbeam “Rebutia” Cirio Pub. Services, 01 May 1997
2) Willy Cullmann, Erich Götz (Dozent Dr.), Gerhard Gröner “The encyclopedia of cacti” Timber Press, 1987


Rebutia fiebrigii var. densiseta Photo by: Cactus Art
KK853 Escayachi, Tarija, Bolivia, 3500 m (Rebutia densispina) Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli

Cultivation and Propagation: Rebutia fiebrigii var. densiseta comes from mountainous areas, so like bright light, and cool and dry conditions in the winter. The whole Rebutia fiebrigii complex has delightful flowers and the plants remain compact, and clumps can easily be managed by division. It is easy to cultivate and recommended for beginners.
Growth rate: It is a slow growing but easily flowering species that will make clumps given the best conditions.
Soils: This species is easy to cultivate in a very open mineral mix with at least 50% sand or pumice grit and a pH slightly on the acidic side.
Repotting: They are small container size plants and prefer deep pots and good drainage to accommodate their tap roots, but they rot prone, because of the sensitivity to excess of watering, not easy to get to any large size on their own roots (it's really a challenge to grow them into a large clump). They will occupy a small pot comfortably, and eventually remain a manageable sized house plant. It is better that they are repotted regularly. Repotting will increase the number and size of stems, and will increase the number of flowers produced. Repot yearly until they reach about 100 mm in size, then every two or three years will suffice. Repotting is best done at the end of winter, but can be done at other times, too. Do not water for a couple of weeks after repotting, to reduce risk of root rot via broken roots. A layer of 'pea' gravel at the bottom of the pot improves drainage. A layer of decorative gravel as a top dressing helps prevent the caking of the potting mix, which decreases the rate of water absorption. It also keeps the perlite and pumice from blowing everywhere, and looks nice.
Watering: It requires full sun or light shade and careful watering to keep plant compact, and maintain strong and dense spines and allow the pot to dry out between waterings. Keep dry in winter at a minimum temperature of 0°C. It tends to rot if too wet. The plants can be placed outdoors in April, but protected from rain and direct sunlight. Water them thoroughly when placed out, and again in two weeks, and again in one week. After one month the plants are ready to be placed out in full sun and full rain for the summer. During dry spells the collection is watered once a week, during hot dry spells, twice a week.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Hardiness: It is reputedly resistant to frost if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather and requires a winter rest period (hardy to -7° C, or less for short periods). Rebutias grow in nature at high altitudes, and do not thrive well at high temperatures in cultivation. They will often go dormant in mid-summer, and resume growth again when the weather cools in late August. They can tolerate amazingly low temperatures for long periods of time. All species can take a frost, even when not bone dry. It is generally accepted that plants kept at too high a temperature, or watered too much during the winter rest period, will not bloom the following year. They will be perfectly happy in pots outdoors from April to September if protected from torrential rain and hail.
Exposition: The plant tolerates extremely bright situations but enjoys filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Tends to bronze in strong light, which encourages flowering and heavy spine production, but is likely to suffer from sun scorch or stunted growth if over exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in summer.
Uses: It is a fine plant for a rock garden or container, contrasts well with agaves, yuccas, and low-growing flowering plants. This variety is also likely to flower as a house plant, but results will depend on a variety of growing conditions.
Pests & diseases: All, especially the young, are susceptible to red spider mites.
Rot: It is especially prone to root rot, therefore, underpot in a smaller container filled with very porous compost. However rot it is only a minor problem with rebutias if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Offsets, seeds. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21-27° C in spring or summer remove gradually the glass cover as soon the plants will be well rooted (ca 1-2 weeks) and keep ventilated, no full sun for young plants! The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted, after which they can be planted separately in small pots. To make a cutting twist off a branch and permit it to dry out a couple of weeks, lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the soil. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward.
Note: It would appear that in cultivation they grow larger and cluster more vigorously than in habitat.


In Conclusion

The genus Rebutia includes some of the most beautiful and easy to grow cacti. These amazing cacti can become the centerpiece in any room. Surprisingly, Orange Crown specimens will grow larger and cluster more than in their natural habitat provided with the right care. If you are looking to add the popular Rebutia fiebrigii to your cacti collections, there are a few simple things you must keep in mind.

Although they can tolerate direct light, it is recommended to have some shade or filtered light during the hottest part of the summer days to prevent sun scorch. Their watering requirements are similar to other cacti species. They must be watered regularly during warmer months but allowed a cooling period during winter.

Root rot is one of the most common problems with Rebutia, so make sure they never sit in a dish of water. Although Rebutia prefers a small container, repotting is necessary. The soil must be rich, fast-draining, and with a slightly acidic pH. Keeping in mind these simple tips will make sure your Orange Crown cactus will grow happy and healthy, rewarding you with its beautiful flowers.

Are you growing Orange Crown cacti? Share your experience with us in the comments!


Watch the video: Rebutia krainziana


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