Cold hardy, moisture tolerant, low growing form, beautiful flowers,adaptable- -Five key phrases to look for, when choosing a cactus to fit into your rockgarden.
Escobaria vivipara is one of these cactus. It is found in seventeen U.S. states and three Canadian Provence's. With such a vast territory variability is to be expected. Again E viviaria does not let us down. The E. vivipara complex contains nine named varieties and one closely associated species.
The varieties are: arizonica, bisbeeana, deserti, kaibabensis, neomexicana, radiosa, rosa, vivipara (the most wide spread) and buoflama(the name is an acronym of Bureau of Land Management). The associated species is Escobaria alversonii at one point considered a variety.
The highest degree of variability occurs in the south western states. As you will see from my shots var. vivipara is a low clumping mat and arizonica a cylindrical upright clumper. The other varieties fall in between these two forms.
I grow six of the varieties in my zone 7 garden. They have all proved to be perfectly happy and health. In my previous zone 4 garden I grew var. vivipara for twenty years and never had winter kill or any sign of rot. I still grow this same cactus plant.
First is var. vivpara
Second var. rosea
Third var. neomexicana
Fourth var. buoflama
Fifth var. bisbeeana
Sixth var. arizonica