Parodia otuyensis


This name is a synonym of Parodia tuberculata, though some authors still disagree about the classification and the species is usually found labeled as “P. otuyensis” in nurseries. Here below are other synonyms:

Parodia firmissima
Parodia krasuckana
Parodia sucrensis


Parodia otuyensis is native to Bolivia, where it grows on rocky outcrops in arid and semi-arid climates at the severe altitudes of 2800 to 3200 meters above the sea level.


P. otuyensis is one of the many morphological forms of Parodia tubercolata, an extremely variable species. It is a solitary (but might branch to form little clumps sometimes) cacti, with fleshy, short roots and a globos, slightly depressed at its top, stem, that doesn’t exceed 4-5 centiemters in height and 10 centimeters in diameter, greyish-green in colour, almost glabrous.
As in the majority of cacti, the stem is divided into many ribs (13 to 20), which in turn are divided into rounded, not so prominent tubercles. On each tubercle there is an areole, very small (2-3 millimeters across) woolly at the beginning and glabrous afterwards. The “areola” are the typical buds of cacti, which have developed the capacity to form spines instead of leaves. Spines, in this species, are arranged in 7 to 9 radial ones, pointing in all directions in a star-shaped arrangement, whitish, up to 1 centimeters in lenght, needle-like, and 1 to 4 central spines, pointing outwars, hooked, brown to black, turning greyish as they age. Flowers grow solitary, usually one but up to 3-5 at a time, at the top of the stem, bell-shaped, equipped with a layer of glossy, pinkish- coral red petals, linear-lanceolate, very pretty and decorative. Also the yellow, reproductive center of the flower is beautiful, being made of crowded, bright yellow stamens and a stigma, bright yellow and very promiinent as well. The blooming season occurs in Spring and Summer. Seeds are very small and black.


Put your P. otuyensis exposed to direct sunlight. The plant also enjoys filtered light or light shade in the afternoons of hot summer days. It tends to bronze in strong light. A direct exposure also enhance the flowering rate and it’s thus the most advisable option.
This cacti is deemed to tolerate rigid temperatures (down to -7ÂșC), if its substrate is maintained completely dry. It’s fundamental, also, if you choose to grow it outdoors, to protect it from winter rains. Parodias are native to high mountain habitats, and go dormant in summer, when temperature get too high.
Water regularly during spring and summer, around once every two weeks, always waiting for the soil to dry up completely before each irrigation. If you place it indoors during the winter and outdoors it the summer, you will need to carry out an intermediat adaptation period in which the plant should be watered abundantly, always once every two weeks, and kept away from direct sunlight.
Choose a well-draining substrate, such as a potting mix specifically suited for cacti.
Fertilize once a year with a product specific for succulents during the growth season, diluting half the doses recommended on the label with watering. Make sure that the product you’re using is poor in Nitrogen, because this element can cause abnormal growth and fragility in tissues.
Repotting is seldom necessary, because this plant is a slow-grower. Nevertheless, we advise to repot regularly, like once a year, to increase the number of flowers and guarantee a healthy root system. Choose pots that are only slightly larger the previous ones. After repottings, stop watering for two weeks. The proper season to repot is the end of the Winter.


Propagation of P. otuyensis is usually carried out through seeds or through the removal and replanting of lateral offsets. Seeds can be sown in pots of light, well-drained sandy soil, during the spring when temperatures are warm. They must only be lied on the substrate, without burying them. Cover the pot with a light glass or plastic sheet to create a kind of greenhouse effect, and keep the substrate moist until most of the seeds germinate. Keep them in light-shaded spot, somehow bright but from indirect light. From when most of the seeds have germinated on, mistings can be reduced to once every two or three days as the little plants grow. Seedlings are very delicate and difficult to keep alive: that’s the reason why it is also used a tecnique called the “baggy germination”, in which the seeds are sown in a sterilized pot hermetically closed in a plastic bag.


The genus “Parodia”, that groups species formely belonging to other genera such as Notocactus, Eriocactus and Wigginsia, is named after Domingo Parodi, one of the early investigators of the flora of Paraguay.

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