Cintia knitei comes from Bolivian Andes, where it lives in the altitude range between 2800 and 4000 meters above sea level, within a wide range of temperatures, used to poor, rocky soils.
Cintia knizei is a very tiny plant, with its reduced diameter of 3-5 centimeters, adapted to live in high mountains. It’s a solitary plant, with just a little olive-green, in many points orange-shaded stem. It has a globose aspect, with tubercles that make it quite lumpy, and depressed woolly areoles.”Areole” is a botanic term used to describe the typical buds of Cactaceae, which are only able to form spines. The areoles are exactly what distinguishes a Cactacea from any other succulents.
Roots of Cintia knizei are tuberous, profound and serve as nutrients and water storage. Its flowers are bright yellow, wider than the plant, developing on the stem tip and blossoming during the day (they are diurnal), in Spring.
Cintia knizei is used to the extreme conditions which are typical of a high mountain environment. They need dry, cold conditions in Winter (0-10ºC) unless they don’t produce buds in the following Spring. They are sensitive to root rotting, and that makes it hard to cultivate them. Put them in a bright spot but remember that they can also tolerate shade conditions. The substrate of cultivation should be very well-drained.
Propagation can be made from seeds, cuttings, or grafts. The seeding period is usually in Spring or Summer.
Its name comes from Cinti, a Bolivian town to which these plants are native. Cintia knizei, the only species in this genus, was discovered by Karel Kníže in 1966 at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level near a town called Otavi, in the region of Potosí, in Bolivia. It was though described only in 1969 by Jan Ríha.