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Escobaria minima (Nellie Cory Cactus)


Scientific Name

Escobaria minima (Baird) D. R. Hunt

Common Names

Nellie Cory Cactus, Nellie's Pincushion Cactus, Birdfoot Cactus, Dwarf Cory Cactus, Least Cory Cactus


Coryphantha minima (basionym), Coryphantha nellieae, Escobaria nellieae, Mammillaria nellieae

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Escobaria


Escobaria minima is a tiny cactus with rounded, single stems up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall and up to 0.7 inch (1.8 cm) wide. The plant is crowded with thick and corky white spines. The flowers are pink, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and 0.6 inch (1.6 cm) long. It blooms in several flushes, primarily in mid spring. The fruits are ovoid, green and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.

How to Grow and Care

The Escobaria are very susceptible to rot and therefore require a well-drained soil, without any water excess or stagnation; it has been observed that the plants also suffer the environmental humidity, which should preferably remain very low (30-50%). Avoid watering during the winter, when the plant is dormant: watering Escobaria in cold environmental conditions will almost certainly lead to death of the plant. In the growing season the plants, whose growth is typically quite slow, like to perceive a significant temperature difference between night and day. The experienced grower knows well the difficulties of survival of this genus, certainly not one of the easiest to grow. The seed germination rate is lower than other genus and in fact other methods of propagation are preferable, as a offsets or cuttings… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Escobaria.


It is found only in Brewster County, Texas, in the United States, where there are three populations remaining near Marathon


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