Gymnos in habitat

Gymnocalycium armatum F. Ritter

Gymnocalycium armatum has been found by Friedrich Ritter in Paichu-valley in 1962 and was not found again for several decades. In 2001, Joachim Noack - accompanied by two other friends of parodia - managed to find this species again. But, in spite of Joachim's directions, we were not able to locate G. armatum in October of 2003 at first. When we were about to give up - we already climbed a couple of hills - fortune favoured us at last. I found the plants on top of a hill of gravel at a height of 2700 m. There they were, lined up like a bunch of hedgehogs. Forgotten was the last night in the car at 'cozy' –2°C. The plants only grow at the peak under extreme environmental conditions. On the slopes grow Parodia maxima, Parodia suprema, Oreocereus celsianus and Cleistocacti. G. armatum has a mighty, conic, turnip-shaped root. Thorns (we found specimen with black and brown thorns) are robust, transfixed, sticking out from the plant and up to 70 mm in length.