Autor: Britton & Rose

“Cactus of the South, southern cactus”, because this genus is only found in southern South America.
A genus of small low-growing plants, solitary or branching at the base, of slow growth rate, stems tender and fleshy, with low ribs divided Into tubercles. Spines are straight or hooked.
Flowers diurnal, autosterile, subapical or lateral, bell-shaped, pollinated by bees. Fruits spherical to oblong, with
irreguiar or basal dehiscence, floral remains persistent. Seeds more or less ovate, tuberculate, wrinkled.
The genus Austrocactus grows In Patagonia between Chile and Argentina, practically from sea level up to 4000 m in
altitude, in full sun or among bushes, on stony or sandy soils, and is very polymorphic.
Argentina (Chubut, La Pampa, Mendoza, Neuquén, Río Negro, Santa Cruz), Chile (Maule, Santiago).

Currently 7 recognised species:
– Austrocactus bertinii* (Cels ex Herincq) Britton & Rose 1922 (= A. patagonicus)
– Austrocactus coxii* (K.Schum.) Backeb. 1959
– Austrocactus ferrari R.Kiesling, E.Sarnes & N.Sarnes 2012
– Austrocactus hibernus F.Ritter 1963
– Austrocactus longicarpus E.Sarnes & N.Sarnes 2014
– Austrocactus philippii* (Regel & Schmidt) Buxbaum 1963
– Austrocactus spiniflorus (Phil.) F.Ritter 1963

References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)