Scientific name: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii
In: Kakteen and. Sukk. Pflanzen, Bd. 4, Mappe
29, pl.113, 1936
From south to North-Western Paraguay (Chaco
Habitat: Grows among scrubs in
(Werdermann) Pazout nom. inval. (Art. 34.1),
In: Friciana 4(23): 12, 1964 =
stenopleurum Hunt CITES
- Gymnocalycium friedrichii var. melocactiforme
- Gymnocalycium stenopleurum Ritter
Solitary cacti with banded body sometimes combined with G.
mihanovichii, and sometimes kept as a separate species.
Stem: Flattened globose to elongated globose, grey green, olive
green, greenish-purple, reddish brown to a dark grape colour10-12 cm
tall (or more), 6-12 cm in diameter.
Ribs: 8-14, very prominent, and sharp banded whit strong dark
brown markings especially when young, and these sometimes have
crossbands of lighter colors.
Radial spines: 3-6, acicular, to awl shaped, light to dark brown,
somewhat twisted, 0,7-4 cm long.
Central spines: Usually absent.
Flowers: Pale-pink to purplish-pink, 6-7 cm long.
Fruit: Gray-green up to 4 cm long, diameter 1 cm.
friedrichii and G. stenopleurum are
sometimes combined with G. mihanovichii, and sometimes
kept as separate species. The main distinctions of
G. friedrichii and G. stenopleurum from
G. mihanovichii are:
has prevalently purplish pink, wide open flowers and well-pronounced
polymorphism of spines. Besides it has tall slender ribs and
roller-shaped prominent thickening around areoles.
has wider, lower ribs, in juvenile plants divided into separate chins,
in maturity every rib have flat surface and a pleat above each areole.
But the essential thing is its pale or brownish-yellow, not fully
Has white, fully opening flowers.
But many intermediate forms are also known
and nowadays it is suggested that all should be combined
into only one variable species.
The "HIBOTAN" :
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii 'Rubra,' (cv. Hibotan)
are popular mutant, red or orange bodied cactus often
known as the “Red Cap Cactus”, or “Ruby Ball”.
There are also pure yellow or pink-white forms, known as
“Blondie” or “Moon Cactus”. They are red, orange,
yellow or even white because they contains no chlorophyll, much
like the red we see in the fall foliage of trees when their
chlorophyll breaks down and disappears. Without chlorophyll the
mutant gymnocalyciums can not produce sugar and without sugar
they will die. The only way to keep them alive is to graft them
onto another cactus which has chlorophyll and which will provide
sugar to the mutant scion. The chlorophyll containing bottom
part of the graft, called the stock, can be any number of
different cactus species. In the case of the gymnoclyciums it is
Hylocereus, a tropical cactus.
Story: The first two red plants
were produced by E. Watanabe in Japan. Sowing of some
thousands of seeds of G. friedrichii
yielded two bright red freak
seedlings which would have died quickly had they not been
grafted at once. From these have been produced literally
millions of plants, distributed all over the world, by repeated
grafting and cutting.”
Furthermore a number of readily distinguished multicoloured and
variegated cultivars (only partially de-coloured) are now
available. Some of this plants can be grown on their own roots
and are very beautiful.
easy to grow this plants offers no cultivation difficulties.
Needs: Moderate to copious in summer, keep
dry in winter.
Frost Tolerance: Quite frost resistant if kept dry
-10° C (Temperature Zone: USDA
Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Propagation: Seeds (seldom produces offsets)