Melocactus Link & Otto (1827)

(Greek melon = melon, apple; Greek kaktos = cactus)
melon cactus
globular, broad globular or elongated; 5–20 ribs; spines usually thick, often also bended
flowering plants with cephalium, felted, with bristles interspersed, at the apex
flowers small, bell shaped to funnel-form, appear at the cephalium, usually nights, to several, reddish
fruits small clubbed, red or white, at ripeness pressed out of the cephalium and falling off; seeds black

Highslide JS


Mexico to northern South America and Caribbean
savanna and sparse forests

Growth period

half to full sunny location, very warm and wet
warm and damp climate through frequent mist
in spring initially mist till the shrunken plants starts to fill with water
then occasionally watering
somewhat sensitive to to much moisture! main growth is in fall
plants should be cultivated in large pots or bowls

Winter period

light and dry at a minimum of 59°F (15°C), constant heat
ca. every 3–4 weeks spray with water


mainly minerally with a amount of humus
addition of quartz gravel is highly recommended
Melocactus azureus Buining & Brederoo (1971)
Highslide JS
  Highslide JS    


Bahia - Serra de Espinhaco
on weathered rocks, on arid mountain slopes
of the Rio Jucaréin in ca. 1480 ft (450 m) altitude


azure blue Melocactus
to 6.7 in (17 cm) high and 5.5 in (14 cm) broad
9–10 ribs, sharp-edged
areoles oval, somewhat sunken
spines strong, gray white with dark brown tips

cephalium white wooly, with fine red bristles interwoven
flowers funnel form, carmine, above somewhat darker




Appendix II
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.
Pictures of the collection by Donna and Robert Ellis; Tucson, Arizona