Escobaria minima (Baird) D. R. Hunt
Nellie Cory Cactus, Nellie's Pincushion Cactus, Birdfoot Cactus, Dwarf Cory Cactus, Least Cory Cactus
Coryphantha minima, Coryphantha nellieae, Escobaria nellieae, Mammillaria nellieae
Escobaria minima is a small cactus with crowded stems covered with clusters of corky white spines. The stems are cylindrical, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall, and up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) in diameter. Flowers are pink, up to 0.6 inches (1.6 cm) long, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. This cactus blooms in several flushes, primarily in mid-spring. Fruits are green, egg-shaped, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Escobarias are very susceptible to rot. Therefore they require 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 to 50 %). Avoid watering during the winter, when the plant is dormant. Watering Escobaria in cold environmental conditions will almost certainly lead to the 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 genera, and in fact, other propagation methods are preferable, such as offsets or cuttings.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Escobaria.
This species is found only in Brewster County, Texas, in the United States, where three populations remain near Marathon.
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