Parodia magnifica (F.Ritter) F.H.Brandt, is perhaps just as well known by its ‘older’ name Notocactus magnificus. Or even the name it was first given, Eriocactus magnificus, by Friedrich Ritter in 1966. Whichever name you use, it is indeed a magnificent species, even when not in flower.
The flowers, which are bright yellow and held close to the plant body tend to open in several flushes through the summer. It is easy to grow from seed, quite readily available also as young plants, and standard cactus compost and treatment are all that is needed. If the compost is dry, it can certainly withstand low temperatures, and over a number of years will grow and offset steadily until it achieves a mature size of maybe 40cm or more across.
In the wild, where it is considered endangered, it grows in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and according to some sources nearby in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, at elevations of 150 to 800 metres above sea level.
Text & photo by Mike Read
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