Neoporleria subgibbosa cannot be classified as a free-flowering cactus but its easy culture and attractive appearance make it a worthwhile addition to the collection. Although young plants are almost orbicular in shape they elongate with age. It is a native of Chile where it seems to grow in coastal areas. The bright green plant bodies are surrounded by about twenty ribs which are sharply notched and almost tubcrculalc in appearance. The areoles are borne close together on the sides of the ribs and have up to thirty spines, sometimes over an inch (2-5 cm) in length. In the type species these are normally yellowish in colour, but there is a most attractive variety called N. s. nigrispina with almost black spines which is reputedly freer flowering. The areoles are fairly densely packed with wool and the flowers when they appear are produced amongst the spines at the top of the plant and are pale pink in colour.

Neoporleria nidus is a species with brownish-red stems surrounded by very dense spines. It is sometimes sold as Echino-caclus senilis. Neoporleria napina is a curious species, also from the coastal regions of Chile, with yellow flowers and such minute black spines that the plant appears to be almost completely spineless. During its resting period this latter species, like the South African mesembryanthe-mums. contracts its thick fleshy turnip-like root to such an extent that it practically sinks below the ground.


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