Description: Generally solitary than can occasionally produce small
clumps. It is distinguished for the small sized yellowish blooms, very
short flattened foliaceous central spines and few radial spines.
Stem: Round to shortly cylindrical, apex flat or slightly
depressed, up to 10 cm in diameter (but usually smaller) the epidermis
is dark bluish-green. Older plants sometimes get corky near the base.
Ribs: Numerous,25-40(-55) wavy, thin .
Areoles: Well spaded (only 1 or 2 per ribs) Initially woolly,
Spines: Typically 5.
Central spines: 3 short in the upper part of the areoles,
lanceolate, straight or recurved 1-3 cm long, somewhat anulate, reddish
to amber coloured (sometime with a darker tip) that becomes whitish as
they ages. The upper one is very flat and sometime three-toothed at
Radial spines: 2 (occasionally more), appressed, in the bottom of
the areole, awl shaped pointing downward, much shorter than the upper
ones, up to 1 cm long.
Flowers: Abundant up to 1,5 cm
long, cream or yellowish-white often with darker reddish or
brownish throat. Scales on the ovary ovate.
Fruits: Greenish, small.
Stenocactus (E.) tricuspidatus
(a multiheaded species) has been moved into
S. phyllacanthus in the most recent revisions.
Echinofossulocactus tricuspidatus (Scheidweiler)
Britton et Rose 1922
Habitat: This species grows and hides in
high grass, and the spines that looks like dried grass leaves, make the
plants almost invisible in their natural environment.
specific epithet "phyllacanthus" (leaf-spine) derives from the
greek words “phyllon” (φυλλον) = leaf and “acantha” (ακανθα) =
- Echinocactus tricuspidatus
In Allg. Gartenz 9. 51 1841
- Stenocactus tricuspidatus (Scheidweiler)
A. Berger 1929
- Stenocactus phyllacanthus (A.
Dietrich et Otto) A. Berger ex A. W. Hill 1933, (Mexico)
- Echinofossulocactus phyllacanthus
(A. Dietrich et Otto) Lawrence 1841
- Echinocactus phyllacanthus A.
Dietrich et Otto 1836
- Echinocactus phyllacanthus v.
tricuspidatus (Scheidweiler) Britton & Rose 1922
- Ferocactus phyllacanthus (A.
Dietrich et Otto) N. P. Taylor 1980
- Brittonrosea phyllacantha
- Efossus phyllacanthus
- Echinocactus phyllacanthus tricuspidatus
In: Handbook cact. 311 1846
- Echinocactus melmsianus Wegener
In: Allg. Gartenz.
12: 65 1844
Culture: Easy to to care
and flower. No absolute schedule can be given for watering as
various factors (Soil mixture, containers, drainage, temperature, size
of plant) influence water use, so - as a general rule - the soil
should be thoroughly wetted at each watering during the active growing
season (spring and summer), water when the top 1,5- 2 cm of soil feels
dry to the finger. Do not soak the soil during the dormant period. Be
careful, excessive watering can make root and/or stem to rots. Make sure
there is good air circulation between plants. Good drainage is essential
along good moisture retention properties and adequate nutrients
availability. Require bright sunlight to grow well. Dormant plants do
best at temperatures from 5-10°C (but will tolerate -5° for short
periods). The cooler temperatures develop sturdier plants and encourage
the formation of flower buds.
Pests: The narrow ribs, the wooly areoles, and the dense spines
are an ideal habitat for mealy bugs. Frequent inspection of the plants
will prevent them from spreading.
Photo of conspecific
taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants
belonging to the Echinofossulocactus
Taxon has lots of synonyms (like
most Echinofossulocactus) whit several controversial varieties