A genus created to honour Harry Blossfeld junior (1913-1986), who discovered this taxon (see portrait above, ©Haage).
A genus of tiny discoid plants, button-shaped, at first solitary, then forming small clumps, with a greyish-green
epidermis. Spines absent.
Flowers diurnal, subapical, self-fertile, but also pollinated by bees, creamy-white to pale pink, with a few tiny scales
and some scattered wool. Fruits spherical, light brown or reddish, drying when ripe, with irregular dehiscence,
releasing large quantity of tiny brown seeds which are then dispersed by ants. Seeds have a wide aril and
The genus Blossfeldia grows in northern Argentina and southern Bolivia, between 1100 m and 3200 m in altitude, at
ground level, mimetic in rocky defiles, on steep slopes, in cracks of schistose (shale) walls containing pockets of humus or fine clay. Plants form colonies of elongated clumps from a single specimen.
Argentina (Catamarca, Jujuy, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan), Bolivia (Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, Potosí, Santa Cruz, Tarija).
Currently only one recognised species (more possible subspecies):
– Blossfeldia liliputana* Werdermann 1937