|P. penicillata is a spherical, later cylindrical, green cactus, with white, pale yellow, or pale brown spines. In summer, produces funnel-shaped, orange-yellow or brilliant red flowers.
The Parodia genus is made up of 35 to 50 species of cactus ranging in size and form from columnare and single to clustering. All are cylindrical. Native to the highlands of Columbia, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uraguay, water these plants moderately and fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks from midspring to late summer. This plant should remain dry at other times except for a quick, periodic misting on warmer days in late winter. If your climate is warm enough to grow this plant outside, be sure that soil is well drained and sun if full, but with protection from strong mid-day rays.