Whether you’re a cacti newbie or an experienced grower, you sure have a sweet tooth for a rare species. Or should we say green tooth? Either way, these little gems are always highly appreciated. Having and growing rare cactus can be a real confidence boost for a gardener. Also, it makes a collection pops and gets from ordinary to eye-catching. Rare cactus plants aren’t unnecessary difficult to find, but it may take some of your time. After all, they are absolutely worth it. Let’s mention some of these show-stoppers and get inspired.
Rare Cactus Plants- Make Your Cacti Collection Extraordinary
Cacti family is full of numerous varieties and plants with spectacular shapes, colors, sizes, and growing habits. However, a few of them really take a case, wether for their natural habitats, the fact that they’re endangered, a genetic mutation they’re caring or some other extraordinary feature. On the list below, you’re going to meet some of them.
Ruby Ball aka Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
This cactus looks breathtaking, but that look comes with the prize. Ruby Ball is extremely hard to grow outside its natural habitat. It has demanding growing needs, so experience growers learned how to go around them. The general advice is to graft this cactus to an existing one in a collection, to make sure it will survive. The features that make it so desirable are its petite form, cute ball shape, and amazing, vibrant, and usually red color. Yellow ones are even rarer and far more hard to find. This cactus looks the best when grafted on a solid, green stem of the base cactus.
Totem Pole aka Lophocereus schottii var. monstrosus
This cactus may confuse most of the newbies since it doesn’t look like a cactus at all. It’s smooth and spikeless, with a long stem. Totem Pole cactus is actually a mutation of a much more common species and its rare because of the low chances of mutation passing on the next generation. Luckily, it’s extremely long-living, so if you get your hands on one of them, you may even be able to grow it for decades. Since the stem can grow quite long, at one pound you’ll be able to plant it outdoors and make it a central peace of your landscape.
Bizanguita aka Turbinicarpus alonsoi
This extremely rare cactus earned this title for a few reasons. First of all, its only native to Xichu, Guanajuato in Mexico. Also, it grows exclusively on rocky slopes about 1.900 m above sea-level. However, it’s very loved and desired by cacti collectors, since it looks adorable. Bazanguita is a tiny, round cactus with a deep green color. It blooms with beautiful white flowers on thick stems that are bigger than a cactus itself, which all together create a breathtaking appearance. This cactus is desired so much that it becomes endangered, due to illegal harvesting. According to the last researches, there are only around 5.000 Bizanguitas left around the world.
What makes this cactus so rare is, for most, its natural habitat. Discocactus horstii only grows in few small areas in Brasil and its cultivation outside the natural habitat is strongly controlled. This adorable tiny cactus comes in a round shape with an interesting pattern on the stem. It also blooms with beautiful milky white flowers from the top center of the stem. Overall, it looks like something from a fairy tale cartoon. However, Discocactus horstii is very picky when it comes to growing conditions. Its a really rare gem to grow on your own and keep healthy. It has a specific watering needs and demands quartz soil to stay in good shape.
This is probably one of the most unique looking cactuses we encounter so far. Strombocactus disciformis made to this list thanks to its unusual shape and natural habitat. This rare cactus is rounded and stumpy, basically growing in layers. There’s a no regular pattern of thick stems, so every plant has its own form. When it blooms, it shoots up beautiful pink flowers from the top of the stems. So of the plans may produce cream-colored flowers as well. Strombocactus disciformis is native to Mexico, being one of the rarest cactus plants in the region. It`s extremely difficult to find out in the wild, since its growing on steep cliffs.
Stenocereus Hollianus Cristata
This cactus is much more common than others on the list. However, not every collection has this wavey beauty in it. What makes Stenocereus Hollianus Cristata stand out from the crown is its unique shape. Stems have dark purple tips that curve and make the plant appear layered.
Orange Cob aka Lobivia famatimensis cristata
Here’s another one rare cactus that’s both difficult to grow and worth the effort. If you cross paths with Orange Cob, you’ll surely want one of them in your cacti collection. This eye-catcher almost resembles the shape of the brain, making it one of the most unique-looking plants in the world. However, it’s extremely needy and often demands grafting in order to stay healthy and alive. If you get your hands on this plant, you can try and graft it on a solid base cactus to create somewhat green art peace of your own.
Echinopsis cv. Chocolate
We already know that cactus plants come in various colors. This one is really special on that side. As the name implies, Echinopsis cv. Chocolate is brown in color and almost appear like a fungus. The stems are thick and sturdy, growing almost in random directions. This rare cactus is difficult to find, but if you get lucky, you can get a cultivated one from a well-supplied shop or online. Echinopsis cv. Chocolate is surely not the most beautiful plant out there, but it will definitely make your cacti collection worth admiring.
Living Rock aka Ariocarpus Fissuratus
This cactus is one of the rarest cacti on the planet and extremely difficult to find in a natural habitat. Still, this little one has one of the most unique defend mechanisms in the cacti world. Since the stem is tiny and completely spineless, Living Rock cactus developed a psychoactive chemical it releases to keep the animals off. Therefore, you need to be very careful when handling it, since this chemical can cause intoxication even to humans. Grayish-green stem piles up to the fuzzy top. Living Rock blooms with impressive pink flowers from the center top of the stem.
This rare cactus earned its name thanks to the fact that it is the smallest cactus in the world. Instead growing out to have ribs and spines, like most other cacti species, this one have a form of rounded clump with small bulbs. When it blooms, the flowers are big, impressive, and usually white. If the growing conditions are perfect , they can even have a beautiful, sweetish scent. However, Blossfeldia lilliputiana is very hard to cultivate. Therefore, you’ll rarely find it outside its natural habitat, which are some small regions of Bolivia and Argentina.
In closing, here’s a gardener`s dream that is at least likely to come true. But, a cacti lover got to dream, right? Haageocereus tenuis is probably the most expensive cactus in the world. It’s listed for $250,000 and this rare cactus is expected to go extinct by 2024. In the wild, it can still be found in small areas covered in sand dunes in Peru. Due to extremely harsh environment, this cactus grows laid on the ground, and it’s capable to survive up to 2 years without a single drop of water.