I wrote about my Leuchtenbergia principis back in 2014 and 2021. It had just bloomed. When I researched it, I found that it is the sole species of its genus and there is nothing else quite like it. I have a larger one that bloomed, but I also have this small one that I am patiently waiting on to get old enough to bloom.
However, in the Mexican desert where ferocactus grow along with it, sometimes the plants hybridize in nature and the result is a ferobergia. They are an uncommon plant. And then I was tickled to realize that I had one!
It takes a female ferocactus pollinating with a male leuchtenbergia for this plant to be born. Betcha didn’t know cactus come in male and female plants! As I understand it, seeds from this hybrid will not produce the same plant; it takes a deliberate pollination by an interested human or the accidental pollination in nature to produce a seed that will replicate this cactus. And even at that, depending on the ferocactus the leuchtenbergia crosses with, resulting plants will show variations of its parents. The new cactus could have papery spines like the leuchtenbergia or stouter hooked spines like ferocactus. All of these hybrids will have the long tubercles more like the leuchtenbergia, but even they can have a slightly different form. Ferocactus and L. principis are remotely related, which is what allows them to cross at all.
Mine obviously has the distinctive tubercles with the stronger, slightly hooked spines more like a ferocactus.
Flowers are usually yellow like its parents, but some are variations of pink. Can’t wait to see what mine comes up with when it blooms one of these days.