Parodia Species, Golden Ball, Lemon Ball, Yellow Tower

Parodia leninghausii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Parodia (par-ROH-dee-uh) (Info)
Species: leninghausii (len-ing-HOW-see-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Notocactus leningausii
Synonym:Pilocereus leninghausii
Synonym:Malacocarpus leninghausii
Synonym:Eriocactus leninghausii
View this plant in a garden


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage

Provides Winter Interest

This plant is fire-retardant

This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Hayward, California

Pittsburg, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California

San Marino, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Windsor, California

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Deer Park, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 20, 2012, btlr44 from Batesville, AR wrote:

The only thing, I can say is, I bought mine , last yr at Walmart...I was watering, about 2 times a was doing good...left it out, under covered deck...last winter..but, we did have a mild winter...this yr...2012 , I started watering once a wk..been so hot..triple digits...then , I noticed, this thing , coming on top of it...not at all, thinking of a bloom..but, I kept watching..and low and behold, I went out, to check,, on it, and , it had opened,,beautiful yellow, like the pictures.. Btw. I do , feed all my cactus, once a mth..not, spring and fall..I have had, many of my cactus, to bloom, for first time this yr..I am a happy person...just wanted to share..I can't post a pic of it, because of Apple...grrrrrrrrrr sorry..but it is only about 5 inches tall....Walmart, had some recentl... read more


On Jun 30, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

An elegant, charismatic little cactus with impressive winter hardiness, as long as it doesn't get overwatered in winter. The spines are basically soft hairs, not much to worry about; I like petting mine, in fact. Any cactus garden without this species is simply lacking in the coolness department.


On Jan 26, 2009, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I don't know if it happens with all storms, but in Florida we get a rain followed by a cold front, which makes for a very unhappy cactus. They can take the temperatures if kept dry.


On Mar 15, 2008, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Despite the underwelming writeups below you should know this is one of THE most desireable cacti species to own. Beautiful bright yellow spines on a hardy to everything,plant. Maybe the most eye catching cacti at Lotusland and The Huntington botanical gardens.That says alot for this humble common Walmart cacti! Amazing ability to spread if allowed and yet can live decades in a pot. I strongly recommend this great cacti.


On Oct 30, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD,
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

Clumping,heads to 1 m high by 10 cm, flowers 5 cm across. Related to Notocactus nigrispinus, its other name is Eriocactus leninghausii.


On Jun 3, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Also called "Yellow Tower"


On Mar 28, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the faster growing small, spiny cactuses. It is intensely spiny and very dangerous to walk too close to. Tends to pup and sometimes bud another plant off near the top. Makes a nice yellow look in the garden and excellent planted in masses. Usually sold under name Notocactus