Common Name: dwarf Turk's cap
Origin: Melocactus matanzanus is endemic to the Matanzas and Las Villas provinces of Northern Cuba, among coastal shrublands in serpentine outcrops. Its habitat has been highly degraded by forestation, and now the species is critically endangered.
Description: M. matanzanus is a small, usually solitary cactus that develops a globular form, including 8 to 9 rounded ribs that are covered with whitish-gray or brown spines. Mature plants grow a stoutly cylindrical cephalium, bright-orange with white wool. During mid-summer, once specimens have reached 4-5 years, a ring of rose to carmine flowers will form upon the cephalium, blooming for a few hours around noon. Pink to red fruits will follow, tube-like with a waxy exterior.
Cultivation and Care: