Frailea castanea is one the of most
Description: This is a very singular
miniature plant, and one the of most fascinating cacti.
Disk like, flattened to
It is diminutive in size and several remain
solitary, never outgrowing 4-5 cm diameter. Stems are chocolate
brown or dark reddish-green with 8-15 flat
3-15 minute, short, black
appressed on the plant body and usually all bent downward.
Sulphur yellow, sometimes larger than the plant
itself (4cm diameter). But don't be disappointed when the easily
buds fail to open. Fraileas are
cleistogamous meaning that their flowers produce seed without
even opening. Without the need for
pollination, hence the buds rarely reach full
bloom and remain closed. They will open only in great heat in
the hottest, brightest, afternoon sun, if at all.
indehiscent that detach easily,
membranous, fragile that break easily releasing the seed.
Seeds: Very big 3-3,5 mm wide.
A dried fruit with the very large seeds (3 mm wide)
An unusual developed flower
Photo and © copyright by
Mladen Turcinovic (Croatia)
and © copyright by
Mladen Turcinovicc (Croatia)
Cleistogamus flowers and
self pollinated fruits
& F. M. Knuth
ABC: 248, 415,
The plant is found from Southern Brazil to Northern Uruguay
Listed in CITES Appendix
Synonyms: Frailea asterioides
remembers the Spanish
born in 1850 who was responsible for the
cactus collection of
the Department of Agriculture of the United States at the end of
the XIX century.
derives from the Latin name “Castanea” which
“chestnut” and refers to dark reddish-brown colour. (the
Latin "Castanea" derives from the Greek. "kastaneia",
which meant either "nut from Castanea" in Pontus (eastern
Greece) or "nut from Castana" in Thessaly, but probably
both places are named for the trees, and the word is probably
borrowed from a language of Asia Minor.
( The specific name implies:
"coloured like a chestnut").
Flowers will open only in great heat on the hottest, brightest, sunny
afternoon , if at all.
A plant grafted on Opuntia compressa
Grow them in rich, porous soil and let
dry out between waterings.
These plants need a minimum temperature of 5-10° C (but occasionally
temperatures of a few degrees below 0° are not dangerous)
Sun Exposure: It
enjoys full sun,
and it can take on a near
black appearance when kept in bright light.
a shaded position the
plants grow faster, but are not
flat shaped and dark coloured.
Characteristically, during the
dry season plants
under the ground both in the
wild and in
This plant is short living (It does not live long - about 10-15
With fresh harvested seeds or (rarely) by