Moon Cactus
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Moon Cactus
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Tabish
Common name: Moon Cactus, Ruby Ball, Red Cap, Red Hibotan, Hibotan cactus
Botanical name: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)

Moon Cactus plants are something of a mutant and lack the ability to produce chlorophyll, which means they must be grafted onto a rootstock with that ability. The result of complete lack chlorophyll is a display of red, orange, or yellow pigmentation. These mutant strains are often grafted onto the hylocereus cactus, and the combined plant is called a Moon Cactus. It is very variable, therefore numerous varieties have been described. The individually growing Moon Cacti have a broad-spherical, gray-green, often reddish overgrown plant body, which reaches stature heights and diameter of 3-5 cm. The usually 8 ribs are narrow-edged and slightly notched. The 5-6 weak, pliable, and slightly curved thorns are greyish-yellow, between 0.8 and 1 centimeter long and partly fall off. The 4-5 cm long, bell-shaped to funnel-shaped flowers are yellowish-olive to light pink. The light green stamens are in two rows. The stylus is also light green; the scar yellowish. The fruits are spindle-shaped. Moon Cactus is native to South America, cultivates as a house plant worldwide.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in cultivation.

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