Notocactus leninghausii

Golden Ball Cactus


Notocactus leninghausii, also known as Parodia leninghausii or the Golden Ball Cactus, is a striking columnar cactus native to southern Brazil. Growing up to 1 meter tall and 10 cm in diameter, it features dense, golden-yellow spines and produces bright yellow flowers in summer.

This cactus thrives in full sun and requires minimal watering, especially in winter. Notocactus leninghausii is a favourite among cactus enthusiasts. Its eye-catching appearance and easy care make it a standout addition to any succulent collection.


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Origin: Rio Grande do Sul province in southern Brazil
Genus: Notocactus
Species / Cultivar: leninghausii
Common Name: Golden Ball Cactus
Synonym: Parodia leninghausii, Eriocactus leninghausii

Plant Biography

Notocactus leninghausii, also known as Parodia leninghausii or Golden Ball Cactus, was first described by Heinrich Friedrich Linke in 1893. Native to southern Brazil, it belongs to the Cactaceae family. The genus Parodia honors Lorenzo Raimundo Parodi, an Argentine botanist. This species was initially categorised under the genus Notocactus, but taxonomic revisions in the 1980s merged Notocactus into Parodia and it is still sold under both names.

Known for its golden-yellow spines and summer-blooming yellow flowers, Notocactus leninghausii has gained popularity in cultivation for its distinctive appearance and ease of care. Its resilience and striking form have made it a favoured choice among cactus enthusiasts and collectors.

Notocactus leninghausii
Light: Direct
This plant likes as much sun as possible. Best placed in direct sunlight in a bright window.
Soil: Cacti and Succulent Mix
Enjoys a drier soil with a high ratio of drainage material.
Growth Rate: Slow
Expect to see quite small amounts of growth over the years.
Water Requirement: Minimal Watering
In summer water sparingly when soil has dried out significantly. Little to no water in winter.
Maintenance: Low
Requires no attention beyond correct position and watering. An ideal starter plant!
Eventual Height: 0.5-1m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.1-0.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Will need protection from frosts in order to survive winter, eg. with fleece jacket.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Notocactus leninghausii, or the Golden Ball Cactus, thrives as an indoor plant, reaching up to 1 meter tall and 10cm in diameter. Place it in a bright location with full sun exposure, such as a south-facing window. Use well-draining cactus soil to prevent root rot, and water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. In winter, reduce watering frequency to mimic its natural dormant period. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to avoid waterlogging.

Fertilise with a cactus-specific fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). With its minimal care requirements and striking appearance, Notocactus leninghausii adds a touch of desert charm to any indoor space.

This species does show some cold tolerance and could be tried outdoors in the mildest parts of the country, but it would need to be kept bone-dry in order to withstand any frost.


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