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This must be one of the most well-known and popular Sulcos in cultivation.

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Sulcorebutia rauschii It was originally found by Walter Rausch, a tireless plant-hunter, who was responsible for discovering some 17 different Sulcos. The genus Sulcorebutia was first set up by Curt Backeberg in 1951 and subsequently returned to Rebutia in the New Cactus Lexicon. Hence Sulcorebutia rauschii is now Rebutia pulchra, but is probably still best-known by its original name.

It has heads of no more than 2-3cm across and was first described as having bodies of ‘dark or blackish green to violet’. In fact it is very variable in appearance and many forms are now cultivated, including one with attractive golden yellow spines, which may have come from Rausch’s original collections and, more recently, a white-spined form. Flower colour is usually magenta or sometimes pink.

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All Sulcorebutia species come from a fairly restricted area of Southern Bolivia. S rauschii is found on a mountain ridge, the Cerro Ayrampo, to the east of Zudanez growing at elevations of around 2,700m (just under 9,000 feet).

Like any plant from these high altitudes it will enjoy plenty of sun and fresh air in summer, and will survive cold conditions in winter, provided it is kept dry of course. In cultivation it will grow slowly to a mound of considerable size, although plants in the harsh conditions of its natural home remain much smaller.

Copyright 2012 No part of this article or the accompanying pictures may be reproduced without permission