Parodia leninghausii

Sorry for the delays, all. It never ceases to amaze me how busy things can get.

Thank you to Drew Avery@Flickr for sharing today’s photograph (original image via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Much appreciated!

Known commonly in English as lemon ball, golden ball or yellow tower cactus, Parodia leninghausii is a columnar cactus species native to southernmost Brazil. Taxonomically, it has been placed in several different genera over its history since first publication in 1895, having been placed in Parodia in 1982.

Karl Moritz Schumann, a German botanist, named the species after Wilhelm Lenninghaus, a collector for the German cactus nursery, Haage. I don’t often link to commercial sites, but I’m duly impressed by a nursery that’s been in business for nearly 2 centuries with an intriguing history, including this snippet: “In the Third Reich the ‘non-Aryan’ cactus had to live underneath the tables”. I wonder how different cacti species were separated into these groups — place of origin? collector? appearance? Baffling.

Additional photographs of this species are available from Wikimedia (Parodia leninghausii in Huntington Botanical Garden) and via Smith College Botanic Garden: Parodia leninghausii.

Parodia leninghausii

14 responses to “Parodia leninghausii”

  1. Calochilus

    I’ve always known this beauty as Notocactus , I wonder what it will be next week 🙂

  2. Vicki

    Part of the fun of this site, for me, is the mini quiz I experience when I see the taxonomic name in the email. Sometimes I am spot on in knowing what I will see when I go to the site. Other times, like today, I have NO clue – not any sort of educated guess. Well, no wonder!!! Cactaceae is not part of my historical past. Thank you for the introduction!!

  3. Annie G.

    I also love what Vicki calls the “mini quiz” inherent in seeing the botanical name in my inbox. And thanks again for the wonderful details and stories that make their way into the commentary, like today’s bit about the non-Aryan cactus.

  4. Gabrielle

    Nice to open the page and recognize a cactus from the desert plant collection here and know it’s labeled correctly (or “currently”!).
    BPOTD is always interesting, always informative, and often fascinating, as today’s links are….I read “non-Aryan” cactuses as ALL cactuses, since they are not native to Germany. Question: Would Haageocereus be named after Mr. Haage? Thanks for the great site, I look forward to it every day.

  5. Irma Palm

    Why the name Parodia. I understand that leninghausii is named after a person.
    Is it a parody or….. something entirely different
    thanks for giving us these pictures and also puzzles to break of the monotony of the daily work

  6. elizabeth in D.C.

    Thank you…

  7. Charles Tubesing

    Per Stearn’s Dictionary of
    Plant Names for Gardeners:
    Parodia In honor of Lorenzo Raimundo Parodi (1895-1966), Argentinian botanist especially noted for his studies of South American grasses.

  8. Carole Miller

    I have this cati and in the spring before the summer rains it puts forth the loveliest yellow blossoms. I never knew its name until now. Thank you and for all your other entries. I should mention I live in Central Florida and we are now in our dry period.

  9. lisa

    Aryan cactus: What a bizarre distinction to make. It seems silly now, but it really shows the reach of the obsessiveness and neuroses of that regime. Horrifying really.
    I too wonder how they decided which cacti were Aryan and which were non-Aryan. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of reason involved, so it would be interesting to find out what they used to determine this.
    Great photo, and wonderful historical information on the lemon ball cactus. I wonder if this little guy had to live under the table or not…

  10. elizabeth a airhart

    thank you this is interesting found in
    some garden centers
    daniel i wonder how our friends in haiti are
    this page has had comments from haiti
    and pictures of plants and botanists
    who have been to this fine country

  11. Old Ari

    One supposes that any Cactus that didn’t come from India would be non-Aryan,

  12. Eric in SF

    This species grows outdoors year-round in San Francisco.
    Here’s one from the gardens adjacent to the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, showing the flowers:

  13. Michael

    The regime followed some esoteric ideas about reconstructing an “ancient germanic” environment. “Foreign” plants and animals were proclaimed unworthy or inferior, so Northern Europe would be cleared of any introduced species and species that were present in the “olden days”, say in the year 0 BC, would be propagated. One particularly funny experiment was the “rebreeding” of a kind of ersatz auerochs, which is known as “Heck cattle”. It is not known to me with what they would have substituted potatoes.
    Germans, eat german bananas!

  14. Er.We

    in addition to Michaels comment: the german text clarifies that a l l the cacti, considered to be non-aryan, had to survive under the tables. These were used to grow vegetables during the war times.

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