Cacti of the Month (Sept. 2006) Gymno mihanovichi 'Hibotan'

A more in depth look at individual cactus species, a new one is added each month -managed by Hob

Moderators: ElieEstephane, DaveW

User avatar
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 2:57 pm
Location: Leeds, England

Cacti of the Month (Sept. 2006) Gymno mihanovichi 'Hibotan'

Post by templegatejohn » Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:41 pm

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cv. ‘Hibotan’
Britton & Rose


The plant is globular and offsets freely. It is much more deeply ribbed than most other Gymnocalycium and the short spines look white against the bright colouring. It is always grafted on to a stock as the plant itself will not survive on its own roots because it has no chlorophyll in its make-up. It can be found in bright red, burgundy, purple or a mixture of all three colours within the same plant. The plants are usually grafted onto a Hylocereus. These are not particularly long lived, or for that matter cold hardy.

Scientific name:
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii

Common names:
Lollipop plant, Moon Cactus, Ruby Ball.

Echinocactus mihanovichii

From the Greek words gymnos, meaning naked and kalyx, meaning bud. Mihanovichii. Named after M. Mihanovich. I am not certain about the cultivar name ‘Hibotan’

This is a man made cultivar, mainly produced in Japan and Malaysia

Light: The plant likes good light, but not particularly fierce sunshine.

Compost: Any normal open cactus compost will suit this plant

Water: Will take normal watering during the summer.

Flower: The flower is a pinkish colour. The flowers usually appear around mid summer and are typical of the genus. It is one of the few plants with no chlorophyll that actually flowers, as far as I know.


Min. temp: The plant is almost always grafted on to a non hardy stock. It would be impossible for me to say which one as they vary. But because they are non hardy stocks the plant will need to be kept at a temperature of at least 45°f. (10°c).

Cultivation: Not a difficult plant to keep, although they are not particularly long lived in cacti terms. I don’t know why they are always produced on such long root stocks. I always reduce mine by half so that the plant at least looks as though it is on its own roots. If you are familiar with grafting, the plant would perhaps be better on a Trichocereus.

A Japanese nursery bench

Comments: This is not really a plant for the ‘purist’ but at the risk of upsetting some members who probably think that it should not be in this section. We get so many new members or members who have few plants, writing in to say “I have got a round cactus that is all red and looks like a lollipop.” Well now hopefully they can be referred to this page and their curiosity will be resolved. All things considered they are not a bad looking plant. The one in the photograph is mine and I am not ashamed to admit that I have a couple of others of varying colours.