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Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala

Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala


Succulentopedia

Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala (Button Cactus)

Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala (Button Cactus) is a small cactus that grows in clusters, up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, of up to 100…


Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala - garden

Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: United States, Southern and Northern Mexico
Cultivation: Epithelantha is a little more demanding compared to other cacti however, it is not particularly difficult to growif you follow a few recommendations: give water sparingly, ensure a bright exposure, fertilize once a month.
Curiosity: This genus is formed by a single species: Epithelantha micromeris, of which exist, however, several varieties. This plants form a single, thorny stem. In their natural environment, however, they form groups: this is probably because the seeds fall close to the mother plant, but it also can be a reproductive strategy to ensure the pollination of the flowers.

KEY FEATURES

Imagine small globes, almost perfect, green but covered with white thorns so that it seems clear when it is seen from a distance, and in summer on the top it shows a tiny red fruit: the charm of Epithelantha is unquestionable.

It is in fact a dwarf cactus with a globular or ovoid shape, which rarely becomes cylindrical with age, with a height that usually goes from 1 to 5 cm, and only exceptionally reaches 10 cm. Its surface is very compact, doesn’t show ribs but is completely covered with whitish thorns that arise from aureoles arranged geometrically .

Its flowers are pink, very small and inconspicuous anyway they are still valuable because of their delicacy. What is surprising is the fruit, which ripens in the summer, and has the form of a pod and, as we said, is fire-red.

Overall, Ephitelantha is very popular among not only succulent lovers, but also for curious botanists or for those who seek a decorative, tiny plant.

VARIETY AND TYPES

The only one species in the genus Epithelantha is Epithelantha micromeris. In the past it was deemed to be a Mammillaria, but later its peculiarities have suggested a separate classification in a genus of its own.

Here below are a few varieties of Epithelantha micromeris:

  • Epithelantha micromeris subsp. bokei
  • E. micromeris subsp. greggii
  • E. micromeris subsp. pachyrhiza
  • E. micromeris subsp. pickisoniae
  • E. micromeris subsp. polycephala
  • E. micromeris subsp. rufispina
  • E. micromeris subsp. unguispina

TIPS FOR GROWING

Epithelanthas are more demanding than other cacti however, it is not particularly difficult to take care of them if you jus follow a few tips:

  • Put it in a bright area, in full sun (but avoid leaving it under the direct light during the hottest hours of the day) or half sun.
  • It requires a warm temperature above 25-30 ° C, while in winter it doesn’t tolerate temperatures below 8 ° C. We advise you not to risk with lower temperatures although, in completely dried soil, it might surprise you and survive to short frosts.
  • In the summer it needs to be watered once every 7-10 days. However, be careful to wait until the soil is completely dried before each watering.
  • A special soil for cacti is suitable for its cultivation. You can fertilize it once a month.
  • Plant growth is slow and you will not need to repot it during the first years: this plant remains small.

The Epithelantha micromeris usually reproduces by seed. The single plant is self-fertile, so you can replant the seeds produced by the same plant. In addition to this, also the production of pollens is rather frequent and, as you know if you follow our section, they can be propagated easily also by cutting. In short, you won’t have problems to obtain new plants from your Epithelantha.


Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala - garden

Origin and Habitat: USA - Arizona (Santa Cruz and Cochise County) New Mexico (Hildago and Sandoval Co, From Sierra and Chaves to Eddy Co), western Texas. Mexico (northern Chihuahua).
The endemic Mexican taxa have relatively large flowers like those of Epithelantha bokei.
Altitude: It grows from 500 to 1800 metres in elevation.
Habitat and Ecology: Widespread in desert grasslands and woodlands It grows on crevices, coarse gravel, cliffs, sedimentary calcareous rock (rarely igneous) substrates on hills and ridges in the Chihuahuan Desert. These cacti are normally found in small clusters because the seeds fall nearby. Also wind, rain, and wildlife help with the dispersal of seeds. The species has an exceptionally large range, high number of individuals and low threat, therefore it is listed as Least Concern.

  • Epithelantha micromeris (Engelm.) F.A.C.Weber in Bois
    • Cactus micromeris (Engelm.) Kuntze
    • Cephalomamillaria micromeris (Engelm.) Frič
    • Echinocactus micromeris (Engelm.) F.A.C.Weber in Bois
    • Mammillaria micromeris Engelm.

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Epithelantha micromeris subs. polycephala (Backeb.) Glass
Guía Identif. Cact. Amenazadas México 1: Ep/mi ssp. polycephala (1998 publ. 1997)
Synonymy: 4

  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. polycephala (Backeb.) Glass
    • Epithelantha greggii subs. polycephala (Backeb.) D.Donati & Zanov.
    • Epithelantha micromeris var. polycephala (Backeb.) Glass & R.A.Foster
    • Epithelantha polycephala Backeb.
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Epithelantha micromeris subs. unguispina (Boed.) N.P.Taylor
Cactaceae Consensus Init. . 5: 12. 1998
Synonymy: 6
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. unguispina (Boed.) N.P.Taylor
    • Epithelantha micromeris var. unguispina (Boed.) Backeb.
    • Epithelantha unguispina (Boed.) D.Donati & Zanov.
    • Mammillaria micromeris var. unguispina Boed.
  • Epithelantha spinosior
  • Epithelantha unguispina subs. huastecana D.Donati & Zanov.

Description: Epithelantha micromeris is a miniature globose cactus, erect, unbranched or in small clumps, not deep-seated in substrate, appearing ashy grey and relatively rough in general aspect.
Stem: Unsegmented, mostly spheric or obovoidal, rarely cylindric, often flat-topped with a depressed centre, 1-5(-9)cm tall and up to 2-4 (-7,5) cm in diameter, occasionally more surface completely obscured by spines cortex and pith are not mucilaginous.
Tubercles: Numerous, not confluent into ribs, hemispheric or short cylindric, very low, ca. 1(-3) mm long arranged in tight spirals around the plant.
Areoles: Small at tips of tubercles, 1 mm long, nearly circular, elliptic when distended by flower or fruit, slightly woolly when young, copiously woolly only at sexually mature stem apex areolar glands absent
Spines: 20-35(-40) white to ashy grey 2-5 mm long, appressed on sides of stems, straight, terete, slender, innocuous, in 1-3 superimposed series except for a longer (4-12 mm) and erect adaxial tuft on the top, on sexually mature stem apex often greyish or purplish white, frequently with brown bases, collectively forming brown spots at the centre of each spine cluster. The upper radials on the young tubercles longer and connivent over the apex, narrowly clavate, the upper half finally falling off. Spine clusters at the sides of stem 4-5(-7) mm in diameter. Smooth or microscopically roughened by break-up of epidermis, not distinguishable as radial and central spines. In fully adult plants, the distal portions of the longest spines are worn, leaving the apex of the plant covered with short, innocuous spines.
Roots: Diffuse (usually) or tap-root (in some populations) also tuberlike (see: Epithelantha pachyriza )
Flower: Inconspicuous, funnelform diurnal, borne at adaxial margins of spine clusters in the plant top. Only partly opened just distal portion visible, as they barely stick out above the wool obscured by longer spines at stem apex. Outer tepals entire or sparsely erose-fimbriate Inner tepals 5-8 per flower, pink to white (rarely yellow), (1-)2-6(-9) × 3(-5) mm stamens 15-16 ovary smooth, scales, hairs, and spines absent stigma lobes (2-)3-4(-6), white, to 1 mm.
Blooming season:: Flowers late winter-early spring (Feb-Apr).
Fruits: Indehiscent, bright red, thin narrowly cylindric, 3-20 × 2-3(-5) mm, weakly succulent, soon drying and papery, smooth, spineless pulp absent floral remnant deciduous. Fruiting late spring-early summer (Apr-Jun).
Seeds: Blackish, obliquely hemispheric reticulated in 0,5-1,5 mm diameter.
Remarks: Epithelantha micromeris var. micromeris has some of the smallest flowers among cactus species. Unlike other taxa in this genus, it is Autogamous. Its fruit are known in mexico as "chilitos."

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Epithelantha micromeris group

  • Epithelantha micromeris" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/6936/Epithelantha_micromeris'> Epithelantha micromeris (Engelm.) F.A.C.Weber in Bois : Miniature globose cactus, unbranched or in small clumps. Produces small pink flowers followed by attractive red fruits . Spines are white or greysh, innocuous and appressed on sides of stems.
  • Epithelantha micromeris f. cristata" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12911/Epithelantha_micromeris_f._cristata'> Epithelantha micromeris f. cristata hort. : This is a miniature cactus that makes a nice and tangled cluster of fine crests. The stem surface is completely obscured by small pectinated ashy-grey to white spines.
  • Epithelantha micromeris var. dickisoniae" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12912/Epithelantha_micromeris_var._dickisoniae'> Epithelantha micromeris var. dickisoniae hort. : Minute clustering cactus of doubtful status (but common in cultivation), it shows similarities with Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala and Epithelantha pachyrhiza. Spines are whitish turning to a brownish tinge in adult plant's crown. Roots: Tuberose.
  • Epithelantha micromeris f. elongata" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12645/Epithelantha_micromeris_f._elongata'> Epithelantha micromeris f. elongata (Backeb.) Bravo : It has elongated stems and a thick tap-root. It is intermediate between E. micromeris and E. pachyrhiza. Distribution: Ramos Arispe, Coahuila, Mexico.
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. greggii" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/6928/Epithelantha_micromeris_subs._greggii'> Epithelantha micromeris subs. greggii (Engelm.) N.P.Taylor : This subspecies has a rough, somewhat bristly appearance with iIndividual stems up to 5 cm or more in diameter,. Spines are chalky white to reddish brown. Distribution: Northern Mexico, especially Saltillo, Coahuila.
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. greggii f. cristata" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/14919/Epithelantha_micromeris_subs._greggii_f._cristata'> Epithelantha micromeris subs. greggii f. cristata : crested form.
  • Epithelantha micromeris var. neomexicana" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/21624/Epithelantha_micromeris_var._neomexicana'> Epithelantha micromeris var. neomexicana n.n. : This is the population found in New Mexico (USA) but this taxon is not easily recognizable from other Epitelantha micromeris (if not the same identical plant)
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. pachyrhiza" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12634/Epithelantha_micromeris_subs._pachyrhiza'> Epithelantha micromeris subs. pachyrhiza (W.T.Marshall) N.P.Taylor : It has tuberousroots and a stem only partly obscured by the white to orange-tan spines Distribution: Strictly endemic of southeast and northeast of Saltillo.
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. pachyrhiza f. cristata" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/17335/Epithelantha_micromeris_subs._pachyrhiza_f._cristata'> Epithelantha micromeris subs. pachyrhiza f. cristata
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. polycephala" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12638/Epithelantha_micromeris_subs._polycephala'> Epithelantha micromeris subs. polycephala (Backeb.) Glass : Clustering miniature cactus an old plant may have more than 100 heads, and be 10 cm of diameter. Spines are grey/whitish, pastel or ocre. Distribution: it occurs in a limited area of Coahuila.
  • Epithelantha micromeris var. rufispina" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12632/Epithelantha_micromeris_var._rufispina'> Epithelantha micromeris var. rufispina (Bravo) Backeb. : Minute globular cactus, becoming somewhat elongated when old. the spines are numerose up to 40 whitish all radials, turning to a grey-reddish or brownish tinge in adult plants crown. The spine base is reddish.
  • Epithelantha micromeris var. texensis n.n. : This is the population found in Texas (USA) but this taxon is not easily recognizable from other Epitelantha micromeris (if not the same identical plant)
  • Epithelantha micromeris var. texensis f. cristata" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/21625/Epithelantha_micromeris_var._texensis_f._cristata'> Epithelantha micromeris var. texensis f. cristata hort. : Crested form.
  • Epithelantha micromeris subs. unguispina" href='/Encyclopedia/CACTI/Family/Cactaceae/12623/Epithelantha_micromeris_subs._unguispina'> Epithelantha micromeris subs. unguispina (Boed.) N.P.Taylor : It is a little larger than the standard form. Stem globular, up to 6 cm, often clumping over time. It generally has a small projecting black-tipped central spine, 4-5mm long. Origin: Near Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, south into San Luis Potosi.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
3) David R Hunt Nigel P Taylor Graham Charles International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
4) N. L. Britton, J. N. Rose: “The Cactaceae. Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family.” Volume III, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington 1922
5) A. Michael Powell, James F. Weedin "Cacti of the Trans-Pecos & Adjacent Areas" Texas Tech University Press, 2004
6) Pierre C. Fischer "70 Common Cacti of the Southwest" Western National Parks Association, 1989
7) Brian Loflin, Shirley Loflin "Texas Cacti: A Field Guide" Texas A&M University Press, 26/ott/2009
8) Del Weniger "Cacti of the Southwest: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana" University of Texas Press, 1969
9) Del Weniger "Cacti of Texas and Neighboring States: A Field Guide" University of Texas Press, 1984
10) Leo J. Chance "Cacti and Succulents for Cold Climates: 274 Outstanding Species for Challenging Conditions" Timber Press, 19/giu/2012
11) Jeff Nugent "Permaculture Plants: Agaves and Cacti" permacultureplants, 1999
12) Douglas B. Evans "Cactuses of Big Bend National Park" University of Texas Press, 1998
13) Flora of North America Editorial Committee "Flora of North America: North of Mexico. Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1" Oxford University Press, 1993
14) Carolyn Dodson "A Guide to Plants of the Northern Chihuahuan Desert" UNM Press, 15/feb/2012
15) Edgar Lamb, Brian Michael Lamb "Colourful cacti and other succulents of the deserts" Blandford Press, 1974
16) Corral-Díaz, R., Fitz Maurice, B, Fitz Maurice, W.A., Goettsch, B.K., Heil, K. & Terry, M. 2013. Epithelantha micromeris. In: IUCN 2013. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species." Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 19 February 2014.


Epithelantha micromeris Photo by: Cactus Art
In habitat in limestone crevices at Grutas de García, Nuevo León (forma unguispina?) Photo by: Agócs György
Epithelantha micromeris Photo by: Prof. Ilham Alakbarov

Epithelantha Species, Button Cactus, Mulatto, Tapone

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

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:

Can be grown as an annual

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

Gardeners' Notes:

On Mar 12, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The differences between the subspecies are:
--ssp. micromeris Has a neater, smaller, tighter look the tops are very depressed.
--ssp. greggii Larger up to 2 inches across Has a rough, bristly look, pink flowers.
--ssp. pachyrhiza the roots are tuberous, only partially covered with orange-tan to white spines, Pinkish-white flowers.
--ssp. polycephala forms clusters, Each stem about 1 inch across, All 21-27 spines (per areole) are about the same color (white) and length. Pinkish-white flowers
--ssp. unguispina forms clumps, has long black tipped central spines, the pink flowers are larger than the others.


Button Cactus, Mulatto, Tapone 'Polycephala'

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Epithelantha (ep-ith-el-LAN-tha) (Info)
Species: micromeris subsp. greggii
Cultivar: Polycephala
Synonym:Epithelantha micromeris subsp. greggii f. polycephala
Synonym:Epithelantha micromeris subsp. greggii var. polycephala
Synonym:Mammillaria micromeris var. greggii f. polycephala
Synonym:Epithelantha greggii var. polycephala
Synonym:Epithelantha greggii f. polycephala

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

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:

Can be grown as an annual

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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


Watch the video: Cactii u0026 Succulents part 2: Echinopsis, Mammillaria u0026 Astrophytum varieties