FoI
Hatchet Cactus   
Foto info
Hatchet Cactus
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Hatchet Cactus, Peyotillo, Woodlouse cactus
Botanical name: Pelecyphora aselliformis    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)
Synonyms: Mammillaria aselliformis, Anhalonium aselliforme, Ariocarpus aselliformis

Native to Mexico, Hatchet Cactus is a cylindric cactus with flattened elongated tubercles, arranged in spirals, and 40-60 spines. It presents a heavy and fleshy root and grayish green stem, globular when young but becoming cylindrical soon, of about 10 cm high and between 5 and 6 cm. wide. The areolas are woolly at first and present a great amount of small, non sharp spines, joined together with the base with the tip free. The flowers appear on apex, between the wool of the young areolas. They measure about 3 cm. wide and are violet. It is a very rare plant, since it grows very slowly and send offsets after many years only. Flowering: February-October.
Medicinal uses: Hatchet Cactus is a well known medicinal peyote sold in the markets of San Luís Potosí, Mexico, and is used as a remedy for fevers and rheumatic pains. Extracts have also been shown to have antibiotic activity.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag
Photographed in Garden of Five Senses, Delhi.
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