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Frailea schilinzkyana


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Frailea schilinzkyana
On summer days one can admire the splendour of its beautiful yellow flower, larger than the plant itself.  


Frailea schilinzkyana is a tiny odd & species with small heads and friendly short spines. Eventually it will form small clumps.

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Photo gallery FRAILEA



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Subfamily: Cactoideae

Tribe: Notocacteae

Origin:  Argentina & Paraguay (South America)
Type locality: Meadows near the River Paraguari, Paraguay.

Habitat: Grows on grass plains.

Scientific Name: Frailea schilinzkyana (Haage jr.) Britton & Rose 1922

Conservation status: Listed in CITES Appendix II

Etymology: The genus name "Frailea" remembers the Spanish "Manuel Fraile", born in 1850, who was responsible for the cactus collection of the United States Department of Agriculture  at the end of the XIX century.
The species has been named
Guido von Schilinzky, Russian plant devotee (27 March 1823 - 16 Sept. 1898)

Original Publication:
Echinocactus schilinzkyanus Haage jr. in Schumann
In: Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 7: 108. 1897.


  • Cactus schilinzkyanus Kuntze, Deutsch. Bot. Monatsschr. 21: 193. 1903
  • Frailea schilinzkyana ssp. concepcionensis
  • Frailea ignacionensis
  • Frailea concepcionensis
  • Echinocactus schilinzkyanus
  • Frailea ybatense
  • Frailea perumbilicata

Frailea schilinzkyana is a very small cactus that remains solitary or (occasiaonally) somewhat cespitose.
It is diminutive in size, about 3 cm in diameter, depressed globular and somewhat flattened and umbilicate above, (wider than taller). Medium dark brownish green
Ribs: 10 to 13, but very indistinct, more or less spiraled, strongly tubercled
Areoles: Placed on the upper side of the tubercles.
Radial spines:
About 12 to 14 short (2 to 3 mm long) which vary from yellow to dark tannish-brow n or blackish in colour, more or less appressed and reflexed.
Central spines: Solitary, stouter than the radials.
Roots: Fat central tap root.
Yellow small, infundibuliform, often cleistogamous (Even when their flowers do not open, they still form fruits with many seeds)
Blooming season: Flowers will open only in great heat, in the hottest, brightest, afternoon sun, if at all.
Fruit: Dry, indehiscent, that detach easily, yellowish, pericarp membranous, fragile that break easily, releasing the seed.

Cultivation: Fraileas are are tiny plants with comparatively big yellow flowers, often bigger than the whole plant itself and are especially suitable for those with limited growing space. They can be easily grown in a sunny windowsill or a small greenhouse. The secret for keeping Fraileas happy and growing is to pot them in a rich, porous soil with good drainage and aeration,  to give them lots of water and let them dry out between waterings. Fraileas do like more water than most other cacti. If you over-pot them (in about 6-7 cm pots) they grow much better and healthier, as they can be quite short-lived if not given correct growing conditions. During winter they like cool and dry places (minimum temperature of 5-10 C) but even light frosts do not harms them. Characteristically, during the dry season plants retract completely under the ground, both in the wild and in cultivation too. Occasional light spray of water during the winter helps plants from shrivelling up too much. In the summer they like the pot  to be filled with rainwater (which is always better to use than tap water) quickly absorbed by the plants, and one can almost see the little bodies swelling up. After a day or two, it is best to drain off any remaining water in the under-pots. Sun Exposure: They enjoy full sun.  In a shaded position the plants grow faster, but are not flat shaped or dark coloured.

Propagation:  With fresh harvested  seeds or (rarely) by grafting. The seeds germinates well. Sow the them on the soil surface, so that they can grow to a reasonable size before they have to be pricked out into a bigger tray. The seed trays go into a heated propagator on a windowsill where they catch the afternoon sun. It does not take long for the seeds to germinate, and some will do so within a day or two after sowing. When they have reached a height of about 1 cm they are pricked out into a larger tray, where they remain until they are large enough to go into individual pots.

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.