Brazil & Paraguay
Notocactus scopa is a silvery spined , ball or cylinder shaped cactus growing up to 50 cm tall and up to 10 cm broad, with a spiny, woolly crown,often clustering with showy yellow flowers. The stems are almost hidden by soft tufts of bristly spines somewhat similar to small brushes. The mixture of white and red-brown spines, varying from plant to plant.
Notocactus scopa f. xicoi is one of the morphological or local forms of Parodia scopa, distinguished by fewer ribs and fewer spines. Particularly striking are the numerous purple brown central spines (often lacking in younger specimen). It has a solitary growing stem up to 50 cm long.
The exciting lemon-yellow flowers with pale anthers and scarlet stigma open during the day and close at night.
This species grows in hilly grassland and on walls between cracks in the rocks or in the shade of larger growing Cactus in deciduous forest. It grows in one of the most temperate region of the countries with warm and cool seasons and weather can become very cold during the winter nights. It likes deep pot with generous drain holes, needs a very airy potting medium very permeable to water which mainly consists of non organic material, slightly acid, pH-value between 4-6. Re-pot every two years.
Makes an attractive landscape plant and grasslands or pampas, on plains and walls It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small.
For watering cacti, the golden rule is to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering! This will stop the roots from rotting. It is advised to always use a pot with a drainage hole so that excess water can get drained out. If kept in a sunny area, you will need to water it once every week. If it is in a semi shaded or filtered light area, you might need to water it once in 2 weeks.
Cacti like soil that is well aerated and fast draining. You can fertilise the cactus in the summer months when it is in its growing season. During the winters it is best to cut back on any fertiliser and let the plant rest.