Parodia erinacea (Haw.) N.P. Taylor
Cactus erinaceus, Echinocactus acuatus var. erinaceus, Echinocactus corynodes var. erinaceus, Echinocactus erinaceus, Malacocarpus corynodes var. erinaceus, Malacocarpus erinaceus, Notocactus acuatus, Notocactus erinaceus, Notocactus tetracanthus, Wigginsia acuata, Wigginsia erinacea
Parodia erinacea is a small cactus with a solitary, flattened globular to short cylindrical stem with 12 to 15 ribs and a woolly top. The stems are light to dark green, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, and up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. Each areole bears none to one central spine and 2 to 12 radial spines. The spines are more or less pointing upwards, whitish, yellowish, grey or brown, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long. The central spine is not much longer than the radials. Flowers are yellow with bright red stigma-lobes, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter, and appear in summer.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the popular Parodia without too much trouble. However, it is key to remember that Parodias don't like direct sunlight and are accustomed to more even water than many other cacti species. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and dramatically cut back watering. However, unlike other cacti species, you don't need to stop watering entirely. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Parodia, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Parodia.
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