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Parodia mueller-melchersii
(Backeberg) N. P. Taylor 1987
Photograph Parodia mueller-melchersii in habitat

2008, Uruguay, Tacuarembó

 

Surveys

2006, Uruguay, Rivera, Rivera, A&M 70 Show on map

Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
01-0200

 

2006, Uruguay, Rivera, Tranqueras, A&M 73 Show on map

Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
02-0233
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
03-0237
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
04-0235

 

2008, Uruguay, Tacuarembó, old road between Valle Eden and Tambores, A&M 280 Show on map

Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
05-a0779
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
06-a0784
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
07-a0783
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
08-a0780
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
09-a0770
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
10-a0769
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
11-a0786
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
12-a0824
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
13-a0817
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
14-a0861

 

2008, Uruguay, Tacuarembó, Tambores, A&M 284 Show on map

Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
15-a0910
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
16-a0906
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
17-a0923
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
18-a0914
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
19-a0912
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
20-a0942
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
21-a0935
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
22-a0933
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
23-a0934
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
24-a0927
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
25-a0930
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
26-a0947
Preview photo Parodia mueller-melchersii
27-a0948

 

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Synonyms

Notocactus mueller-melchersii*, Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp. mueller-melchersii, Notocactus eugeniae, Parodia mammulosa ssp. eugeniae, Notocactus gutierrezii, Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp. gutierrezii, Parodia permutata, Notocactus permutatus, Notocactus roseiflorus, Notocactus rutilans, Parodia rutilans, Parodia rutilans ssp. rutilans, Parodia rutilans ssp. veeniana, Notocactus veenianus, Notocactus winkleri, Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp. winkleri
* Basionym

Distribution

Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Uruguay (Artigas, Maldonado, Paisandú, Rivera, Salto, Tacuarembó)

Conservation status

(1)   Endangered, EN A4ac

Comments

We found our first specimens of Parodia mueller-melchersii (Backeberg) N. P. Taylor in November 2006, doing research at the northern area of Lunarejo Valley, near Tranqueras in the Department of Rivera (Uruguay), on Mario Padern’s property. At the time we were not sure of the accuracy of the attribution, as some of the small group of plants observed showed morphological characteristics rather distant from the original description by Backeberg (1936, 254, 415), a description that was basically incorporated, with minor modifications, by Anderson (2001, 547-548) and by Hunt et al. (2006, text: 221), as well as being distant from the photos used to illustrate the taxon in the literature (Hunt et al. 2006, Atlas: 312, pl. 312.3, 312.4). The characteristics of the Tranqueras specimens (photos 2-4) that differ the most from the description of P. mueller-melchersii are a very elongated body, instead of the almost spherical body that is reported, and almost completely dark red central awl spine, instead of pale yellow with red brown base and dark spots. The same particularities draw the plants closer to the descriptions of some taxa later considered conspecific with P. mueller-melchersii (Hunt et al. 2006, text: 310), ie Notocactus veenianus Van Vliet (1974, 53 (9): 171-173) and Notocactus winkleri Van Vliet (1975, 54 (7): 136-139); both with elongated bodies, respectively 20 and 24 cm, apex covered with dark red spines, and both found in the Department of Taquarembó Uruguay. Our doubt was whether the two taxa in question could not benefit from some form of autonomy from P. mueller-melchersii because of the diversity noticed; and as a result of the survey in the Department of Taquarembó, near the same named town, in the area between Valle Edén and Tambores, we found the answers we were looking for. In November 2008, looking at different populations of P. mueller-melchersii we found that the taxon, in its closest form to the one presented by the literature, is morphologically very similar to, almost not distinguished from, some forms of Parodia mammulosa (Lamaire) N. P. Taylor with which it may live in sympatry, differing from the latter by a greater number of ribs (21-24 vs. 13-21), not flattened central spines and thinner radial spines.  However, these elements cannot always be considered as distinguishing between the two. On the other hand, in some populations the plants are quite variable, so much so that they were taken for "new" taxa, as in the cases of the "discoveries" by Van Vliet. We therefore agree that N. veenianus and N. winkleri are just synonyms of P. mueller-melchersii, as forms of transitions or of different growth of the same taxon; however we believe that if this is true, the next descriptions submitted need to be more elastic and above all that the pictures need to document this variety. So, if P. mueller-melchersii can reach 20 cm or more in height (photos 2-3, 15-16) and have completely red central spines (photos 2-4, 24-25), or both the two characteristics (photos 2-3), although not consistent with, nor so close to, Backeberg’s description it must be taken into account. It speaks of an 8 cm high plant, with 6 cm diameter and with a light yellow central spine and dark extremities. (Quoted from Anceschi & Magli 2010, 26-28)

Parodia mueller-melchersii (Backeberg) N. P. Taylor represents one of the 62 accepted species in our synopsis of the genus Parodia Spegazzini s.l. (Cactaceae), published in Bradleya 36/2018, pages 70-161. For an update and more informations in our understanding of the taxon (see on pages 119-121, 154), the full text of the article is available here: A synopsis of the genus Parodia Spegazzini s.l. (Cactaceae). (PDF 4.5MB).
October 2018

Genus

Parodia

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