Family: – Cactaceae
Habitat: – Southern Brazil, eastern Bolivia, northern Paraguay
Cultivation: – Cactus are usually hardy plants, but Discocactus need some special attention: they need protection from cold and rot. Water only when the soil is completely dry and avoid temperatures below 10 degrees.
Curiosity: – Its name comes from the Greek “diskos”, it refers to these plants’ shape. Discocactus is an endangered genus.


Discocactus are plants characterized by their flattened shape, similar to a disc. These plants are small, with their stem segmented by vertical ribs. The spines are robust, long and light colored. From the generally flat surface appears, in 10-years-old plants, a white cephalium: out of which the flowers will rise in summer. Some species develope the cephalium after only 3-4 years. Their white flowers will only last for a few hours, but every plant will produce so many flowers that the blooming is still enjoyable!


-Here are some of the most important species of Discocactus:

  • Discocactus albispinus
  • D. araneispinus
  • D. bahiensis v. gracilis
  • D. buenekeri
  • D. cangaensis
  • D. catingicola
  • D. cephaliaciculosus ssp. nudicephalus
  • D. crassispinus
  • D. crystallophilus
  • D. estevesii
  • D. ferricola
  • D. hartmannii
  • D. heptacanthus v. semicampaniflorus
  • D. horstii
  • D. insignis
  • D. magnimammus
  • D. pachythele
  • D. petr-halfari
  • D. placentiformis
  • D. placentiformis ssp. multicolorispinus
  • D. prominentigibbus
  • D. pugionacanthus
  • D. pulvinicapitatus
  • D. rapirhizus
  • D. silicicola
  • D. subviridigriseus
  • D. zehntneri
  • D. zehntneri v. araneispinus



Discocactus prefers full sun exposure, especially during winter. It’s important to repair these plants from the summer sun (during the hottest hours of the day).
Maintain the temperature above 10-15ÂșC: Discocactus are very cold-sensitive!
Water only every 3-4 days but make sure the soil dries up before each watering, these plants are subject to root rot!
Use a substrate that allows a good draining, with perlite or pomice.
Choose not so large and medium deep pots: repotting is necessary during the first years, when the plant is growing.
They can be propagated only by seeds. Seeds have to be planted in sandy, humid soil, protect against direct light. Mantain the temperature between 21-25 degrees.

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