| Home | E-mail | Cactuspedia | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search  |

Genus: Gymnocalycium     [ Cactaceae ]

Dictionary of Genus names

The genus name "Gymnocalycium" derives from the Greek words “gymnos meaning “naked” and “calyx” meaning “covering; calyx)” referring to the flower buds (calyx) bearing no hair or spines.
(The genus name implies: “naked calyx”).

Gymnocalycium baldianum buds
The typical naked calyx of Gymnocalycium bearing
no hair or spines but only smooth scale.
[Photo: Gymnocalycium baldianum]

Gymnocalycium is a broad ranging genus of about 70 South American species. Their main area of distribution is Argentina, part of Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Bolivia a few species also occur as far south as Patagonia and a few occur into southern Brazil.
Most species are globose, rather small varying from 4 cm to 15 cm (40 cm). 
They are very popular because they are easy to grow and easy to flower.
The flowers are are generally brightly coloured white, greenish, pink, pinkish, red or occasionally yellow.
Well-known grafts of Japanese origin (on Hylocereus stock) are in the trade as 'Hibotan' and 'Nishiki', they are grafts of variegated and albinos cultivar derived from G. mihanovichii. (Cv: 'Red Cap', 'Pink Cap' & 'Yellow Cap' etc..)
Some are even quite frost resistant  if kept dry.
Most species are propagated from seeds that need 21°C minimum to germinate. Some species produces offsets that can also be used.
They are sensitive to root mealy bugs

Bohumil Schütz  (in  his monograph of the genus Gymnocalycium published in 1988) proposed to divide the genus in six subgenera:
  • Subgenus: Gymnocalycium

  • Subgenus: Macrosemineum Schütz ex Metzing

  • Subgenus: Microsemineum Schütz

  • Subgenus: Pirisemineum Till & Hesse

  • Subgenus: Trichomosemineum Schütz

  • Subgenus: Muscosemineum Schütz

Subgenus Gymnocalycium:
Distribution: Argentina (Buenos Aires, Rio Negro, Rio Chubut, Córdoba, Mendoza, San Luis, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Salta, Entre Ríos)
Type: Gymnocalycium gibbosum (Haworth 1812) Pfeiffer ex Mittler 1844
Ripen fruits burst  with a vertical crack. Seeds about 1 mm in diameter, spherical and truncated at the hilum end. Testa black, completely or at least partly covered by a brownish skin. Hilum round, margin delicate. Fruits and seeds get dry. 
G. amerhauseri H. Till 1994
G. andreae (Boedeker 1930) Backeberg 1935
G. baldianum (Spegazzini 1905) Spegazzini 1925
G. berchtii Neuhuber 1997
G. borthii Koop ex H. Till 1987
G. bruchii (Spegazzini 1923) Hosseus 1926
G. calochlorum (Boedeker 1932) Y. Ito 1952
G. capillaense (Schick 1923) Hosseus 1926
G. deeszianum Dölz 1943
G. erinaceum Lambert 1985
G. fischeri Halda 2002
G. x heidiae Neuhuber 1999
G. hyptiacanthum (Lemaire 1839) Britton & Rose 1922.
G. kieslingii Ferrari 1985
G. leptanthum (Spegazzini 1905) Spegazzini 1925
G. mackieanum (Hooker 1837) Metzing 1995
G. neuhuberi H. Till & W. Till 1992
G. platense (Spegazzini 1896) Britton & Rose 1922
G. poeschlii Neuhuber 1999
G. rauschii H. Till & W. Till 1990
G. reductum (Link 1828) Pfeiffer ex Mittler 1844
G. rosae H. Till 1995
G. schroederianum Osten 1941
G. striglianum Jeggle ex H. Till 1987
G. sutterianum (Schick 1923) Hosseus 1926
G. taningaense Piltz 1990
G. terweemeanum Teucq ex Duursma 1930) Borgmann & Piltz 1997
G. walteri H. Till 2003
G. uebelmannianum Rausch 1972

Subgenus Macrosemineum Schütz ex Metzing
Distribution: Uruguay, East Paraguay, South Brasilia and Northeast Argentina.
Type: Gymnocalycium denudatum (Link & Otto 1828) Pfeiffer ex Mittler 1844
Ripen fruits always turn green, bursting not always but becoming often softly and melting away. Seeds 1-3 mm in the diameter, almost spherical, something pressed together, noticeably broad in the proximity of the hilum. Testa black, more or some dull. Hilum prolonged and pressed a little.
Hilum margin dark or bright.
G. angelae Meregalli 1998
G. buenekeri Swales 1978
G. fleischerianum Backeberg nom. inval. 1959
G. horstii Buining 1970
G. leeanum (Hooker 1845) Britton & Rose 1922
G. megalothelos (Sencke ex K. Schumann 1898) Britton & Rose 1922
G. mesopotamicum Kiesling 1980
G. netrelianum (Monville ex Labouret 1853) Britton & Rose 1922
G. paraguayense (K. Schumann 1903) Schütz 1966
G. sigelianum (Schick 1923) Hosseus 1926
G. uruguayense (Arechavaleta 1905) Britton & Rose 1922
Subgenus Microsemineum Schütz
Distribution: Argentina (San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Tucuman, Salta, Jujuy, Córdoba, San Luis), South Bolivia, West Paraguay
Type: Gymnocalycium saglionis (Cels 1847) Britton & Rose 1922
Plants variously sized, fruits burst vertically. Seeds small, less than 1 mm in the diameter.

G. albiareolatum Rausch 1985
G. ambatoense Piltz 1980
G. bayrianum H. Till 1987
G. bicolor Schütz 1962
G. carminanthum Borth & Koop 1976
G. castellanosii Backeberg 1936
G. chacoense Amerhauser 1999
G. chiquitanum Cardenas 1963
G. hybopleurum (K. Schumann 1898) Backeberg 1936
G. monvillei (Lemaire 1838) Britton & Rose 1922
G. mostii (Gürke 1906) Britton & Rose 1918
G. mucidum Oehme 1937
G. nigriareolatum Backeberg 1934
G. oenanthemum Backeberg 1934
G. paediophilum F. Ritter ex Schuetz 1986
G. pugionacanthum Backeberg ex H. Till 1987
G. ritterianum Rausch 1972
G. schuetzianum H. Till & Schatzl 1981
G. spegazzinii Britton & Rose 1922
G. tillianum Rausch 1970
G. valnicekianum Jajo 1934

Subgenus Pirisemineum Till
Distribution: North of Argentina (Salta), Bolivia (South East), Paraguay (North West)
Type: G. pflanzii (Vaupel 1923) Werdermann 1935
Fruits burst all horizontally. Seeds are smaller than in Microsemineum; shaped like a pear; reddish red or brown like a chestnut; Testa smooth, shiny; Hilum with Funiculus rest without a edge bulge; 

Subgenus Trichomosemineum Schütz
Distribution: Argentina (Cordoba, La Rioja, Catamarca, San Juan, Santiago del Estero, San Luis)
Type: G. quehlianum (F. Haage ex Quehl 1899) Vaupel ex Hosseus 1926
Little to medium-sized plants seldom exceeding  15 cm in diameter, very flat, most solitaire. Fruits spindle-shaped bursting vertically. Seeds up to 1 mm in diameter, like a mussel, hemispherical, pressed together, in the direction to the hilum wider. Testa bright shining dark brown looks as painted. Hilum  ovate and basal. The bulge of the hilum is protruding very much.  
G. bodenbenderianum (Hosseus ex Berger 1929) A.W. Hill 1933
G. obductum Piltz 1990
G. ochoterenae Backeberg 1936
G. quehlianum (F. Haage ex Quehl 1899) Vaupel ex Hosseus 1926
G. ragonesei Castellanos 1950
G. riojense Fric 1960 ex H. Till & W. Till 1991
G. stellatum Spegazzini 1925
Subgenus Muscosemineum Schütz
Distribution: Paraguay (Chaco), East Bolivia (Chaco), Argentina (San Luis, Córdoba, La Rioja, Mendoza, Catamarca, Salta, San Juan, Tucuman, Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Cordillera).
Type: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii (Fric ex Gürke 1905) Britton & Rose 1922
Plant of different  size and form; some species are small, other reach to 30 cm in diameter, some are flat, other become columnar whit age, mostly unbranched. Fruits spindle-shaped burst vertically . Seeds up to 1 mm in diameter, spherical or helmet-shaped as in Microsemineum. Testa light brown, dull, how dusts with cocoa. Hilum  small, the border bulge a little whit a net cut.        
G. anisitsii (K. Schumann 1900) Britton & Rose 1922
G. delaetii (K. Schumann 1901) Hosseus 1926
G. eurypleurum F. Ritter 1979
G. griseo-pallidum nom. inval. Backeberg 1966
G. marsoneri Fric ex Y. Ito 1957 G. pungens Fleischer 1962
G. schickendantzii (F.A.C. Weber 1896) Britton & Rose 1922
G. stenopleurum Ritter 1979




| Home | E-mail | Cactuspedia | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search  |