ISI 2003-7. Parodia ottonis (Lehmann) N. P. Taylor

Better known as Notocactus ottonis, this is one of the most variable in the genus. It has a wide range in southern Brazil, Uruguay and adjacent Argentina. Most forms are globular, eventually branching to form clumps, with relatively sparse spination that does not hide the bright green epidermis. This form, received as N. ottonis var. “schuldtianus” (an unpublished name), differs in having vivid purplish stems during winter dormancy, though this color can be retained if grown in sufficient light. Even so, the new growth forms wedges of green in the sinuses of the ribs near the stem tip, but these will soon darken to match the older epidermis. Like all of the forms, the flowers are a gorgeous satiny yellow with contrasting bright red stigma lobes. The notocacti have recently been combined with Parodia. This is supported by the DNA research of R. Nyffeler that reveals that Notocactus in the strict sense is closer to Parodia than it is to other segregate genera that are widely accepted as notocacti: Brasilicactus (e.g., N. haselbergii and N. graessneri), Brasiliparodia (N. rechensis) and Eriocactus (N. leninghausii and N. magnificus). One is left with the choice of calling them all parodias or resurrecting the segregate genera; a third choice is simply to ignore the research and call them what you will. Rooted offsets of HBG 89134, plants without collection data. $5.

Photo © 2003 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 75 (2), March - April, 2003