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Devil's-Head Cactus, Biznaga Meloncillo
Scientific Name: Echinocactus horizonthalonius Hildmann
Synonym: Meyerocactus horizonthalonius
Family: Cactaceae
Devil's-Head Cactus, Biznaga Meloncillo (Echinocactus  horizonthalonius) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 12-24
USDA: 8b-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 14 F (-10C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 55F (12C)

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Mexico (Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi), USA (Arizona, New Mexico)

Growth Habits: Cylindrical, generally solitary, flattened globose, glaucous green stem slowly growing to 12 inches tall (30 cm), 6 inches in diameter (15 cm) or more; 5 to 13 ribs; round areoles; flattened reddish spines; 3 to 5 centrals, 0.1 inch thick (2.5 mm); 6 to 9 radials, 1 inch long (2.5 cm).

Watering Needs: Water carefully, needs very little water, keep dry in winter, needs good drainage

Propagation: Seeds


Echinocactus horizonthalonius is the smallest of the Echinocactus, the only one that is will bloom as a container plant.
The variety Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii from southern Arizona, and in Sonora in the Sierra del Viejo is classified as endangered. It has typically 8 ribs, 3 centrals, 5 radials.

Echinocactus horizonthalonius in early May at the DBG (1953 3863 01 01)

Cultural Practices:
This Echinocactus comes from areas receiving 8 to 12 inches of water a year (20-30 cm) with punishing heat and sun. It needs little water and a lot of sun. Most varieties are coming from soils derived from limestone and do better with some limestone in the soil mixture.

Blooming Habits:
The Echinocactus horizonthalonius has pinkish-red flowers 2 to 3 inches in diameter, that are produced from the end of March to late May. The red fruits are oblong, semi dry, containing black seeds. They mature in May-June in habitat.

Fruiting Habits:

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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