Native to the uplands of Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia and Uruguay. There are bout 50 species in the family. They range from small globe shaped plants to columnar cacti. All deeply ribbed and spiny, with a single flowers at or near the crown. Some species produce offsets at the base. Very popular plant with collectors.
The great variability of Parodia mammulosa is due to the fact that cross pollination among different forms and different species (in habitat and especially in collections) is very frequent and it can be quite difficult to determine what is the “pure type” and the cross, and the differences among individuals may be remarkable.
Stem: Globose, that elongates to a height of 5-10 cm and a diameter of 7-13 cm with a depressed, spineless apex. The epidermis is shiny, greyish-green to dark green.
Ribs: 18 to 20(-25) straight, well distinct, with prominent, rounded tubercles with chin-like protrusion.
Areoles: Small or large deeply embedded between the tubercles and set about 5 mm apart.
Radial spines: 8 to 30 slender whitish to brownish, needle like, usually less than 10 mm long.
Central spines: 1-4 (or more) up to 20 mm long, not easily distinguishable from the radials, usually flattish, thicker, straight and more than twice as long white, yellow to brown with a brown tip, one usually flattened.
Flowers: Pale pink to golden yellow beautifully emphasized by the purplish/red stigma lobes, 4 cm in diameter, with a short tube covered with white wool and brown bristles.
Fruits: Globose, elongating at maturity, thin walled.
Seeds: Bell to helmet shaped, with obvious corky hilum, matte brown.
Soil: Only the most well drained soils you can find – will be quite happy in sandy or rocky soils. Choose a sunny location, though some shelter from the most scorching sun will be beneficial.
Maintenance: Keep well watered in summer but let dry out over winter. If kept in pots do not allow to sit in a saucer of drained water which can encourage root rot.
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