Main activities of the Society

1 - Meetings are held every first Sunday of the month at 9.45 a.m. at the Hall of the Capuchin monks, F.S Fenech street, Floriana. Near the Polyclinic.

2 - A lending library of books dealing with the hobby is at the disposal of society's members during monthly meeting.

3 - An annual exhibition is organized at the end of October.

4 - Every other year the society hosts a foreign speaker to present the members with two lectures.

5 - Seeds are collected yearly from members which are then sold to those who would like to raise cacti or other succulents from seeds.

6 - A journal is printed yearly, which is given free to all members.

7 - A monthly Newsletter is sent to all members.

Anyone (especially those from the Maltese society) can send pictures of cacti and the other succulents or submit any article/s for this site. Please send any pictures or articles to The society will post all pictures and writings, as long as they are of no offensive nature.

René Zahra


Planned activities

Sunday 5th January, The Cactus Of Mexico, My fifth visit (12th lecture)
Venue: Cappuchin monks Hall Floriana, Near Floriana Polyclinic.
Speaker: Amante Darmanin
Time 9.45

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Echinocactus horizonthalonius

The Genus Echinocactus comprises four or five species of mainly large barrel cacti. They are found from southern USA to Northern Mexico.

E. horizonthalonius is the exception in size as it grows to only up to 45cm tall and 20cm wide.

The distribution of this cactus is vast. From Texas, Arizona (var. nicholii) and New Mexico in the USA to Coahuila, Nuevo Leon,
Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosi in Mexico.

It is usually found in sandy limestone soil and can be either half buried with only the top part showing or fully exposed.

It is a slow growing plant and may live up to 60 years. Flowers are produced from the apex and are lilac in colour with a deeper throat (Have also been described as magenta or deep pink).

Blooms from March to May with another flowering season in September.

Spine colour and shape also varies and may not come as a surprise when considering its vast range. From pink to dark brown to gray.

The top picture shows
E. horizonthalonius from near San Roberto, Nuevo Leon. These plants are small and do not grow larger than a few centimeters, although the ones shown are juvenile plants. The centre picture shows the plant growing at Estacion Marte, Coahuila and that of the bottom picture is from Piedras Blancas, Coahuila.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The cactus and succulent society show (3)

The annual cactus and succulent society show (2)

The annual Cactus and Succulent Show

The annual Maltese cactus and succulent show was a huge success. Twelve members participated in the show which hosted several different cacti and succulents from several Genera. The pictures speak for themselves. Well done!

The cactus show lasted for three days. On Friday 24th October the show was open to members only while on the next two days it was open to the general public.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The Genus Notocactus is found in Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.

Notocactus leninghausii
(top picture). This cactus used to be included in the genus Eriocactus which contained short-columnar cacti with yellow stigma. Now, Eriocactus is a sub-genus of Notocactus and Notocactus itself is being merged with the Genus Parodia which precedes Notocactus. This arrangment is not getting down well with students of this genus. To begin with seeds of Parodia are much smaller than those of Notocactus. N. leninghausii was discovered by Frederico Guilermo Leninghaus, a Brazilian collector.

Notocactus graessneri (Second picture) used to be called Brasilicactus graessneri. Plants of this genus have small flowers and contained two species. Discovered by Robert Graessner and is named for him. N. graessneri is now placed as a subspecies of N. haselbergii. Thus, the name now reads as N. haselbergii ssp. graessneri, unless of course one accepts Parodia as the genus. Confusing isn't it?
N. graessneri, like N. leninghausii has a tendency for the upper stem to lean to one side.

Named for Hugo Selmer Schlosser, Notocactus schlosseri (third picture) is a charming plant and can be expected to flower after three years from seed. N. schlosseri hails from Uruguay. Plants have red spines and can be expected to grow to 20 cm in height.

Notocactus buiningii can be easily distinguished from other Notocacti by its sharp bluish-grey ribs. It remains solitary and is known to have shallow roots.

Pictures supplied by Jason Fenech. Information supplied by Amante Darmanin

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mammillaria seed pods

Mammillaria seed pods vary from species to species. They can embellish an already beautiful cactus as shown clearly in these pictures.

The top pictures shows the seed pods of Mammillaria/Mammilloydia candida.

The next pictures shows that of M. pennispinosa. The seeds of this species are very distinctive. they have a large corky attachment called the strophiole. It is said that this allows ants in carrying it easily and hence aids in germination. Just visible in the same picture are the fruits of M. mathildae and M. jaliscana.

The third picture shows the fruit of M. plumosa (bottom), M. bocasana (middle) and M. bocasana ssp.eschausieri.