Yellow Pincushion Cactus
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Yellow Pincushion Cactus
ntroduced Herb Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Yellow pincushion cactus, Nipple cactus
Botanical name: Escobaria missouriensis    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)

Pincushion cactus is a large group of small, free-flowering cacti that are easy to care for. Most are densely spined, and in many types the spines are so elongated and soft that the plant appears hairy. This species is a perennial, stems usually 1, spherical or almost so, up to 5 cm tall, covered with many fleshy, nipple-like, spirally arranged tubercles that are nearly cylindrical except for 8 grooves. A cluster of rigid spines grow radiate, spreading and flat, from an area called the aerole at the tip of each tubercle. Each cluster has 1 main spine 9-12 mm long and 10-20 smaller, slender marginal spines, the spines are all white. Flowers are about 2.5 cm long, greenish-yellow or dull whitish to sometimes reddish-tinged, with many pointed petals, spreading to more or less upright. Flowers solitary at the base of the groove on the inner side of the mature tubercles somewhat back from the stem tip. The ovary is not spine-tipped. Fruits are berries, somewhat fleshy, almost spherical, less than 1 cm long, pale green, eventually somewhat reddish.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in New Delhi

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