Prime destination for succulent lovers

Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala (Button Cactus)


Scientific Name

Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala (Backeb.) Glass

Common Names

Button Cactus


Epithelantha micromeris var. polycephala, Epithelantha polycephala, Epithelantha greggii subsp. polycephala

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Subtribe: Cactinae
Genus: Epithelantha


Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala is a small cactus that grows in clusters, up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, of up to 100 stems. Each stem is up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter and up to 10 inches (25 cm) long. The spines are short, grayish-white, or reddish. The flowers are pinkish-white.

Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala (Button Cactus)

Photo via


USDA hardiness zones 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering. Unlike many other cacti, which use their ribs as storage devices, Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers emerge from the axils of these tubercles on the previous year's growth, which accounts for their interesting halo effect. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Mammillaria, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.


Epithelantha micromeris subsp. polycephala is native to Mexico (Coahuila).


Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

Share this with other succulent lovers!