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Gymnocalycium mihanovichii (Chin Cactus)


Scientific Name

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii (Fric ex Gürke) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Chin Cactus, Plaid Cactus


Echinocactus mihanovichii (basionym), Gymnocalycium friedrichii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Gymnocalycium


Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is a dwarf cactus with a spherical stem that grows up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) tall and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. It is a very variable cactus in both spination and flower color. The silky flowers range from white, yellowish-white, greenish to pink in color.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Some Gymnocalyciums are shade-seeking in the wild, among shrubs or grasses, while others grow completely exposed. Therefore, some will need a light shading from the sun in the hottest months, but to overdo, this will result in loss of flowers.

The potting medium's balance should be sufficient to allow good drainage so that the plants do not sit in soggy soil for more than a day or two after watering.

Watering in the summer months, while the plants are growing well can be frequent (weekly for small plants in small pots), but always allowing the compost nearly to dry out before rewatering. Watering in the winter months at all is unwise and certainly not necessary. The difficult times are spring and autumn.

Those species which produce offsets can be readily propagated by cuttings. Gymnocalycium seed germinates well when fresh and will keep for a few years if stored in cold conditions. See more at How to Grow and Care for Gymnocalycium.


Native to Paraguay (Paraguayan Chaco).



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