Parodia magnifica is one of those cacti that makes an impression: a large, well-established plant is a cactus that once seen is never forgotten. It is also a cactus that just gets better the bigger it gets. While one may overlook a small-sized plant as just another globular spiny ball, there is no overlooking a specimen-size plant: as Parodia magnifica grows it truly starts to live up to its name. The deep blue-green body with its the strongly defined ribs with their almost continuous line of woolly aureoles sporting straw-yellow spines begins to elongate and become more columnar over time creating a stout presence. Its yellow flowers appear in mid to late summer from a relatively early age.
In the wild, Parodia magnifica is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List with large numbers having been stripped indiscriminately from their habitat by unethical collecting. The remaining populations are fragmented and found on steep inaccessible, often vertical basalt cliffs surrounded by humid subtropical forest and growing in crevices between the rocks. As it grows it forms offsets around the base creating a dense clump. A population of mature clumping Parodia magnifica can form a dense colony and if - as is usually the case - they are growing on a cliff perched above a river they can appear to defy gravity, their ancient elongated bodies curving out and upward towards the sky.
|Synonyms||Eriocactus magnificus, Eriocephala magnifica, Notocactus magnificus|
|Geographical Origin||Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Gritty, well-drained mineral-based mix. Water in the growing season. No water between October and early March|
|Hardiness||Not hardy. Cold tolerant but not one for outdoors in the UK. Glasshouse or indoors only. In a cool glasshouse, be ready to fleece it if the weather goes seriously south|
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