Frailea pygmaea var. gloriosa
Brazil,Uruguay and Argentina.
Frailea is a small cactus, usually solitary, sometimes branching basally. The stem is subglobose or shortly columnar, with about 17 ribs.
Frailea pygmaea as the name implies ("pygmaeus" meaning dwarf), is a very small cactus that lives half buried in the ground. Most of the plants in habitat are single headed unless they are damaged. F. pygmaea has a flattened, light green to dull green body, depressed at the crown, , with a turbinate base, 1 to 3 cm in diameter. Some forms have distinctive dark crescent-shaped marks below the areoles. Spines are short, bristly, setaceous, glassy, white radial spines, 1- 4 mm long, adpressed and rarely also one or two small central spines. They are straight or slightly curved. Some forms have longer white spines that are basally orange yellow in colour while other have yellow spines and wool.
The rare blooms comes with sulphur-yellow flowers larger than the plant itself. These fully developed flowers will open only in intense heat but can still set seed even if they fail to open.
Grow them in rich, porous soil, and let them dry out between waterings. It enjoys full sun, and it can take on a near black appearance when kept in bright light. In a shaded position the plants grow faster, but are not flat shaped or dark coloured. During the dry season plants retract completely under the ground
Landscape UsesIt is used as an ornamental, It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small.