Habitat: South America, west side (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay)
Cultivation: The wigginsia have a rather rapid growth and they bloom easily. They only reproduce by seed.
Curiosity: The plants of the genus Wigginsia have been incorporated, in the last classifications, in the genus Parodia (together with Notocactus and Malacocarpus). In particular, the different species of Wigginsia are today considered varieties of a single species, the Parodia sellowii.
WIGGINSIA KEY FEATURES
The genus Wigginsia (or, according to the most recent classifications, the different varieties of Parodia sellowii) is widespread in a large area of South America and it is very common. It is a small globose cactus, of a maximum height of about twenty centimeters, which generally grows solitary. The stem is dark green (or lighter in younger plants) and furrowed by numerous well-marked vertical ribs. From each ribs emerge whitish areolas furrowed each by only radial thorns (from four to ten), very robust, short and with colors ranging from white to reddish-brown. Sometimes only one central thorn can be present. The flowers, very special, have got shiny and bright yellow petals. Every year, in the month of July, they appear solitary or in small groups on the top of the stem.
VARIETIES AND TYPES
The plants of the genus Wigginsia have been incorporated, in the latest classifications, in the genus Parodia (together with Notocactus and Malacocarpus). In particular, the different species of Wigginsia are today considered varieties of a single species, the Parodia sellowii.
- Wigginsia Fricii
- W. Macroacantha
- W. Tephracantha
- W. Vorwerkiana
TIPS FOR CULTIVATION
- EXPOSURE: Avoid full sun: rather choose a very bright position but sheltered from direct rays, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
- TEMPERATURE: Even in winter, make sure that the plant is never exposed to temperatures below 0. It is therefore recommended to repair it indoors in the colder months.
- WATERING: Like other cacti, it asks for moderate and regular watering in summer (every 3-4 days) and the suspension of wetting in winter. It is preferable to water it with rain water to limit the limestone presence.
- SOIL: Use a porous soil with slightly acidic or neutral pH. In any case, it is not a very demanding plant for what concerns the soil.
- FERTILIZER: Fertilize once a year, first of all, with a specific product for cacti using the half of the recommended dosages on the package.
- REPOT: It has a rather rapid growth and it blooms easily. Given the small size, however, it will need to be repotted only during its first years.
- REPRODUCTION: They reproduce by seed. The seeds will germinate in a week or two, if planted in spring and kept in a warm temperature, in sandy soil. The young seedlings must be kept away from the sun.