Epithelantha F.A.C. Weber ex Britton & Rose (1922)

(Greek "epi" = on; Greek "thele" = (breast) wart; Greek "anthos" = bloom)
bloom on the wart
because of the position of its blooms
Epithelanta is the smallest plant in the Chiuhuan Desert vegetation.
At first sight is Epithelantha similar to the genus Mammillaria, but analysis by Boke (1955)
shows that the structur of the areoles strong depart. The areoles of Mammillaria are split in two parts and the flowers
appear at the base of the tubercle (axil). The areoles of Epithelantha are complete different and the flowers appear on the
areole at the tip of the tubercle where also appearing the spines. Anyhow is Epithelantha near related with
Mammillaria, or it is a parallel development.
small, globular to longish, apex usually wooly, also clumping
spines usually tiny, like bristles, dense or less spreading
central spine somewhat stronger; flowers small, appear on the youngest areoles on the apex; fruits longish, red berrys

Highslide JS


USA -  Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
Mexico - Coahuila to San Luis Potosí

Growth period

full sun exposure and a very warm location
very sensitive to moisture, keep the root neck dry
watering after the soil is complete dried
only watering during warm weather

Winter period

absolutly dry, bright and cold at 39–46°F (4–8°C)


gravelly, pure mineral with a part of gypsum
addition of lime or fine limestone is recommended
Epithelantha bokei L.D. Benson (1969)
Highslide JS
  Highslide JS   Highslide JS
SB416 - Brewster County,
Texas, USA
Highslide JS   Highslide JS   Highslide JS
Habitat - Alamito Creek,
Presidio County, Texas, USA
Highslide JS        

Field number

SB416 - collected by Steven Brack


Texas - Big Bend region, western part of Brewster County
Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosí
on mountain ridges and rocks
in 1900–5600 ft (600–1700 m) altitude


named after Prof. Dr. Norman H. Boke
globular, small,1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) long and Ø, white, simple or rarely clumping
tubercles only 1.5 mm large
areoles in 2 mm distance
35–38 spines, white, very dense, covers the surface
flowers 0.4–0.5 in (1–1.2 cm) Ø, from greyish-white to pink-orange
fruits red, seeds black

Flowering time

March–July in habitat
Synonyms Epithelanta micromeris var. bokei (L.D. Benson) Glass & R.A. Foster (1978)
Epithelanta micromeris
ssp. bokei (L.D. Benson) U. Guzmán (2003)
CITES Appendix II
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.
Picture 7 with courtesy by © Rob Romero, Tucson, Arizona made available.