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Gymnocalycium pflanzii


Scientific Name

Gymnocalycium pflanzii (Vaupel) Werderm.


Echinocactus pflanzii, Gymnocalycium chuquisacanum, Gymnocalycium izozogsii, Gymnocalycium marquezii

Scientific Classification

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


Gymnocalycium pflanzii is a solitary or slowly clustering cactus up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The stem is green, tinged orange-purple in full sun, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and with 10 to 12 ribs. The areoles are oval, with cream-yellowish wool. It has 1 or 2 central and 5 to 9 radial spines up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The flowers are white with carmine-pink to purplish throat and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

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USDA hardiness zone 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. Some will therefore need a light shading from the sun in the hottest months, but to overdo this will result in loss of flowers. The balance of the potting medium 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.

As much as any other cacti, Gymnocalyciums suffer from the persistent pest, mealybug, in both its forms… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Gymnocalycium


It is native to Bolivia and Paraguay.


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