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Escobaria missouriensis (Missouri Foxtail Cactus)


Scientific Name

Escobaria missouriensis (Sweet) D. R. Hunt

Common Names

Missouri Foxtail Cactus, Yellow Pincushion Cactus, Plains Nipple Cactus


Mammillaria missouriensis, Coryphantha missouriensis, Coryphantha marstonii, Coryphantha similis, Mammillaria similis, Neobesseya missouriensis, Neobesseya similis, Neomammillaria missouriensis

Scientific Classification

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


Escobaria missouriensis is a cactus with solitary or clumping stems with tubercles. It grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, forming clumps up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. It has 6 to 21 spines per areole. They are bright white, pale gray, or pale tan, weathering to gray or yellowish-brown. Flowers are yellow-green with mid stripes of green or rose-pink to pale brown, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and about the same in diameter. They appear in late spring or early summer. Fruits are up to 0.4 inches (10 mm) in diameter and bright orange-red or scarlet when fully ripe.

Escobaria missouriensis - Missouri Foxtail Cactus


USDA hardiness zone 7a to 11b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Escobarias are very susceptible to rot and therefore 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, as offsets or cuttings. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Escobaria.


Native to United States (Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota) and Mexico (Coahuila de Zaragoza, Nuevo Leon).


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