Coryphantha cornifera (DC.) Lem.
Cactus cornifer, Echinocactus cornifer, Mammillaria cornifera
Coryphantha cornifera is a small cactus with a depressed-spherical, usually solitary stem with conical, spirally arranged tubercles tipped with oval, felted areoles that bear clusters of spines. The stem is dull olive-green, wooly at the apex, and can grow up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall and 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. The tubercles are conical, rhomboid at the base, and can reach up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in length. Each areole bears 10 to 20 radial and up to 3 central spines. The radial spines are whitish to yellowish, sometimes with darker tips, measuring up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, while the central spines are dark brown, becoming grey at the base with age, measuring 0.4 inches (1 cm) long.
The flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, with yellow petals, orange filaments, yellow anthers and stigma. They appear at the tip of the stems from late spring to summer.
Coryphantha cornifera is native to Mexico. It grows on hills in limestone gravel, mainly in Hidalgo and Querétaro but also in Guanajuato, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow Coryphanthas without too much trouble. They love to be in very bright exposure, but generally not to direct sunlight. The risk, especially during the hottest hours of the day and during the summer, is to get sunburned.
The average winter minimum temperature, in general, should not fall below 40 °F (5 °C), unless individual exceptions. Adult plants (at least two years old) can withstand intense frosts, but only if the temperature rises quickly. To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering.
Allow the soil to dry nearly between waterings, but then water thoroughly. Immaculate drainage is essential, so never let the pots sit in water. Suspend watering in the winter, but mist occasionally.
These cacti are very susceptible to rot and require well-drained soil. Use a potting mix that is labeled for cacti or succulents.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Coryphantha.
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