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  Notocactus scopa
(Syn: Parodia scopa)

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Beautiful species with dark-red central spines and shorter white spines and wool around.
It is very slow growing.

Description: It is a small and very beautiful cactus completely covered with wool and spines. Branches to form small groups or rarely remain solitary,
Stem: Cylindrical, 3,5-7 cm in diameter, 6-10(-15) cm tall, epidermis dark green concealed by the dense spines.
Ribs: 21 to 27, approx 5 -7 mm wide and 2-4 mm highly, arranged into tubercles, on which the areoles sits.
Areoles: Roundish, 2-3 mm in diameter, very close one to each other (approx 2 mm apart), filled by white wool that persist for some years, then naked. Annual increase 5-6 areoles per ribs.
Spines: Very dense white and copper coloured, not stinging. The spines in the blooming areoles are often darker.
Radial spines: 40 - 50 up to 7 mm long, very fine, pure white, lying close, radiating, interlacing with the spines of the adjacent areoles.
Central spines: 4 – 8 (of which 4 true centrals and 3-4 intermediate), up to5 mm long, Longer and stouter, spreading, copper-red or brown. The central spines often are not present in the new apical growth but appears later.
Opening at the top of the stem, approx 35 mm long and 40 mm wide, sulphur-yellow, odourless, self sterile. Tube: 12 - 15 mm long, funnel-shaped, diameter at the base 4 mm, above 13-15 mm Ř, with yellowish epidermis, completely covered by wool and red-brown to dark-brown bristles up to 10 mm long. Stamens 7-9 mm long, golden-yellow. Petals: lanceolate to narrowly lanceolated, up to 4 mm wide and 21 mm long, inside and outside sulphur-yellow, shining. Stylus: 17 mm long, 1.2-1.5 mm Ř, dark-carmine, with 11 (12) stigma lobes up to 3.5 mm long. Blooming season:
Summer. The flowers pen on the late morning and close at night.
Fruit: Small 6-7 mm broad and long, fleshy, pinkish, cover with white cotton wool, drying yellowish, irregularly opening with the releasing of part of the seeds to the ground (but some of the seeds remain on the plant). Each fruit contains approx 80 seeds.
Helmet-shaped, black. Length 0.65 mm, width 0.5 mm, height of 0.4 mm, Hilum oval, curved, light brown. Testa convex to hemispherical, bordered with 5 to 7 adjoining cells, 0.03 - 0.07 mm Ř. Microphylar hole 0.13-0.1 mm Ř and 0.04 mm.

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery NOTOCACTUS



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name (Basionym): Notocactus scopa var. cobrensis Gerloff
In: Internoto 11 (1):3-9, 1990. (Basionym)

L. Horst und W. Uebelmann HU80, Found in Minas do Camaqua, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, SSSZ in Zürich/CH.

Distribution: Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) Type location: Minas DO Camaqua, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil (field number HU80)

Habitat: Grows together with Echinopsis spec. HU 87 and N. ottonis HU11a among grasses and Bromelia sp. partly among larger rock fragment in the crevices and niches.

Etymology: The genus name "Notocactus" derives from the Greek words “notos” meaning “south” indicating that the plants of this genus are from of the South (America) and the word “cactus” ( an old genus name)
(The genus name implies: “cactus of the south”).
The species name "Cobrensis"
comes from a copper mine near the type locality and from the copper-red colour of the central spines of many plants. (Cobre = Spanish for Copper)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES Appendix II

The Notocactus scopa aggregate is an ensemble of related species

NOTE: This plant  has been Transferred to Parodia in 1997 by David Hunt.


  • Notocactus scopa f. cobrensis (N.Gerloff 1990) N.Gerloff & Neduchal
    in: Gerloff, N. & Neduchal, J.  Internoto 24 (3/4): 55-56 (2003)
  • Echinocactus scopa f. ramosus Osten 1941
  • Notocactus scopa var. ramosus (Osten 1941) Backeberg 1959Notocactus erythrinus Havlicek 1989 nom.inval.
  • Notocactus cobrensis n.n.
  • Notocactus scopa var. erythrinus n.n.
  • Notocactus scopa var. brachyacanthus n.n.
  • Parodia cobrensis

Cultivation: This is an easy plant to cultivate.  It require a mineral-based potting mix with a good drainage. Can support quite some water during the growing season but pot plants in winter are wet-sensitive and needs to be kept dry  (rots easily if soil is wet and cold). Usually it is recommended to over-winter this plant in a bright and warm greenhouse with at least 8-10° C , but it has proved to tolerate temperatures as  low as  -5° C for short periods.  
Sun Exposure: Light shade to full sun but doesn't like full, hot blazing sun in the central summer month.

Propagation: Seeds, cuttings. Not too difficult to raise from seed.


Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Notocactus scopa complex:



Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.