Our Plants

April 2011 Plant Highlight: Theocactus tulensis

by Brian Kemble

  image of T. tulensis image of T. tulensis

Thelocactus is a genus of about 12 to 15 species of globular cacti native to northeasteren Mexico, with one species extending across the border into Texas.  They are generally of modest size, though the largest species may be up to 10” across (25 cm).  Most are single-headed, but some are clump-forming.

One kind of Thelocactus which does well at the Ruth Bancroft Garden is Thelocactus tulensis, native to the Mexican states of San Luis Potosi and Tamaulipas.  These chubby cacti have spine clusters atop rounded or conical tubercles.  The spine length and density varies, but the spines are never so thick as to obscure the plant body, which is green to gray-green, sometimes with a reddish tinge.  Plants may be single or clumping, with heads from 4 to 7 inches across (10 – 18 cm)

The flowers of Thelocactus tulensis emerge in spring at the top of the plant, with the flower color varying from white to pink to pale yellow.  After the initial flush of flowering in early spring, plants often produce subsequent flushes at intervals through the spring months.  The flowers are 1¼ to 2 inches or more in diameter (3 to 6 cm).

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s position

The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signs.

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy