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Eriosyce odieri
(Syn: Neochilenia odieri)

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Eriosyce odieri
It is a small reddish-brown cactus with bright white woolly areoles and (usually) short yellow spines.

Description: It is a greyish-green geophytic cactus that grow flat to the soil or often in time of drought, shrunken back into the ground . Often it acquires a reddish, purplish, brownish or almost blue-black colour due to sun exposure.
Stem: 3-5 cm in diameter, subglobular (flattened in the upper part) often spineless when old.
Ribs: 18-21 almost indistinguishable and tuberculate with the podaria arranged in helical lines. Mamilleae 4-6 mm in diameter.
Areoles: Sunken
Radial spines: 6-12 approx 2-5mm long, spreading,
flattened against the tubercles and pectinate, and not intertwining with those of the other areoles, yellowish, white or pale coffee coloured.
Central spine: Usually absent or 1 short.
Root: Massive tap root.
Flowers: Funnel form at the plant apex, that open during the hours of sun, pericarpel with small scales and wool, floral tube with abundant bristles, tepals pale coloured (whitish, yellow, pinkish or orangish)
Blooming season: It starts flowering when the stem reach 2 to 6 cm in diameter.
Fruit: Covered with rigid bristles in the upper portion. Dispersed by wind.

Remarks: There are several subspecies, variety and forms  of this variable taxon, that differentiates for size, number of branches, number of tubercles, number and colour of the spines and for the size and colour of flowers:

Eriosyce odieri ssp. odieri
Eriosyce odieri ssp. krausii
Eriosyce odieri ssp. malleolata (var. malleolata y var. weisseri)
Eriosyce odieri ssp. glabrescens
Eriosyce odieri ssp. fulva
Eriosyce odiery var. monteamargensis
Has longer and stouter spines and a central spine.

Cultivation: The eriosyces have a thick taproot and are susceptible to over-watering. Sometimes they are grafted to avoid root rot problems. Suited for sunny-bright exposure; they can tolerate light shade.   They like warmth (recommended minimum winter temperature 5° C).  But plant kept perfectly dry can easily survive in winter night temperatures below 0° C  (In our greenhouse there was no damage at  -10° C for a few hours in the winter of 2002-2003 )
They prefer airy exposures. They also need a deep pot and good
drainage, to accommodate its tap root.  Keep dry in winter.
Pests & diseases:  
E. napina is especially prone to rot, therefore, underpot in a smaller container filled with a very porous compost.

Seeds or graft.  Seeds can be sown in the spring or summer. The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted, after which they can be planted separately in small pots.


Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery ERIOSYCE




Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name:  Eriosyce odieri (Lem.ex Salm-Dyck) F. Kattermann
(Cactac.) gen. revis. & ampl. (Succ. Pl. Res., 1): 118 (1994).

Basionym: Echinocactus odieri Lem. ex Salm-Dyck 1850

Conservation status: Listed in CITES Appendix II

Origin: Endemic to a smal area ranging from Caleta Cifuncho (25°39’S-70°36’O), Antofagasta region, to the Copiapó Valley (27°15’S-70°55’O), Atacama. Region.
The variety odieri is only found in the habitat of Morro Copiapo (27° 9'S - 70°56'O) an solitary mountain alongside the sea 10 km south of Caldera.
The variety monteamargensis is found in the environment of Monte Amargo (27°21'S - 70°43'O) the old train station, 30 km sud-east of Caldera.

It is possible to find very different  plant named "odieri". This plant is very root prone, needs good drainage.

Habitat: Big valley and gully from 10 to 320 m of altitude,  it grows on low costal flats and slopes in stony and very draining soil in areas where very little else grows. It's a very drought tolerant species. Despite the lack of rain where it lives, the extreme aridity is attenuated by the frequent, often dense, coastal fogs. The fog tends to concentrate in the form of a cloud band It shows a recurrent pattern; usually it is overcast in the early mornings, the clouds dissipating during the late morning and returning during the late afternoons.


  • Neoporteria odieri (Lemaire) Backeberg, 1935
  • Echinocactus odieri  Lem. ex Salm-Dyck 1849
  • Neochilenia odieri  (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) Backeb. 1942
  • Chilenia odieri  (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) Backeb. 1939,
  • Chileorebutia odieri  (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) F.Ritter 1959
  • Thelocephala odieri  (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) F.Ritter 1980

Other names (Heterotypic synonyms): Neochilenia atra, Neochilenia carneoflora, Neoporteria reichei fa. carneoflora, Echinocactus reichei , Neoporteria reichei , Neochilenia reichei, Chilenia reichei, Hildmannia reichei, Malacocarpus reichei , Chilenia reichei , Notocactus reichei , Thelocephala reichei, Neochilenia pseudoreichei, Neoporteria reichei fa.  Pseudoreichei


This plant is very nice with candid woolly areoles and short orange spines, the body colour is dark brownish-red  It likes full sun to light shade .

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.