Austrocactus spec.

Austrocactus is a genus of flowering plants of the cactus family ( Cactaceae ). The botanical name is derived from the Latin noun oyster for South and refers to the southern origin of the plants.


The individual or branched at the base, weichfleischigen, globose to short cylindrical body plants reach heights of growth of 30 to 60 centimeters in diameter and up to 8 inches. On them are 6 to 12, partly gehöckerten, ribs. From the areoles spring the hooked or straight central spines and the needle-like spines.

The funnel-shaped, filled with bristle thorns flowers appear near the apex, 3 to 6 inches long and open on the day. The wide inverted conical flower cups and the short corolla tube are occupied with reduced scales and tufts of woolly hair. The scars are more or less purple or pale yellow. The stamens are arranged in two circles.

The spherical to oblong, greenish fruits are woolly and covered with bristles. They have a perennial flower residual burst unevenly or on the base and contain black to brown, wrinkled, oval seeds that are 2 to 2.5 millimeters long.


The genus is native Austrocactus in the western and southern part of Argentina in the provinces of Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, and in central and southern Chile in the Andes in the Maule Region and in the Región Metropolitana ( Mina Las Arañas ).


The type species of the genus Cereus bertinii. The genus Austrocactus include these types:

  • Austrocactus bertinii ( Cels ex Hérincq ) Britton & Rose
  • Austrocactus coxii ( K.Schum. ) Backeb.
  • Austrocactus patagonicus ( FACWeber ex Speg. ) Hosseus ex Backeb.
  • Austrocactus philippii ( usually ) Buxb. & F.Ritter
  • Austrocactus spiniflorus ( Phil.) F.Ritter

Austrocactus is very closely related to the genus Corryocactus.

Botanical history

The first plants were in 1855 by E. Cels, a brother of Jean -François Cels ( 1771-1832 ), discovered on the coast of Argentina at 45 ° 30 ' south latitude. However, the plants do not survive the shipping to Europe. Captain Pierre Bertin (1800-1891) collected in 1861 at the site new plants. This bloomed later with Jean -François Cels, who published in 1863 the first description as Cereus bertinii.

Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose presented Cereus bertinii 1922 under the name Austrocactus bertinii the only species in the genus of them newly created Austrocactus who was four years monotypic. The second type was followed in 1926 by Cereus Umkombination patagonicus patagonicus as Austrocactus who undertook Carl Curt Hosseus ( 1878-1950 ).