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Epithelantha bokei

CACTUSPEDIA       
 


Epithelantha bokei SB416 Brewster Co TX (The Button cactus)
appears completely white and smooth to the touch. The flowers are very delicate, and pale pink or yellowish. This is considered by many to be the best Epithelantha of all.
 

Morphology (Identifying Characteristics):
Habit: It is a is a slow-growing mini cactus (usually solitary), with only 2-3 cm of stem height, covered so densely with closely appressed tiny white spines that the plants appear to be completely white and smooth to the touch.
Flower:  Flowers are pale pink or yellowish, very delicate, appearing in July.
Fruits: Fruits are smooth, approximately 1 cm long, bright red, edible and enjoyed by birds.
Remarks:
In periods when water is available it is an almost completely rounded cactus.  In drought periods, and during winter rest, plants shrinks and draw back down to ground level, to conserve moisture.
 


Epithelantha bokei MK 29 . 105
S of Cuatro Cienegas , Coahuila, Mexico.


 Flowers are pale pink or yellowish, very delicate, appearing in July.

Spines

(Photo & © Copyright by Massimo Giannelli Italy E-mail: treg@wooow.it )
.
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 A eight year old plant...

  Mature specimens of E. bokei will form annual rings


....the same plant one year later

of growth that give them an unequalled magic spell. 
  
Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Epithelantha bokei L. D. Benson 1969

Synonyms: Epithelantha micromeris (Engelm.) A. Weber ex Britt. & Rose var. bockei (L. Benson) Glass & Foster

Common name (s)“Boke's button cactus", “smooth button”,  “pingpong ball cactus 

Conservation status: Listed in CITES Appendix II
 

Origin: Chihuahuan Desert of South Texas, in Brewster/Sanderson County and northern Mexico

Habitat: Grows in dense groups on rocky, gravely soils on flat areas, raised limestone hills and ledges.


Etymology:
The genus name "Epithelantha" derives from the Greek word “Epi) meaning “upon, on, at, over”;  the Greek word “thele” meaning “nipple”  referring to the tubercles, and “anthos )meaning “flower”. (The genus name implies: “flowers upon the tubercles”).The species name "bokei" Derives from the name of Dr. Norman H. Boke of the University of Oklahoma prof. in Biology-Plant Science.
 

 



(Photo & © Copyright by Massimo Giannelli Italy E-mail: treg@wooow.it )
Spines




Epithelantha bokei MK 29 . 105 S of Cuatro Cienegas , Coahuila


Cultivation: Although regarded as a choice and difficult plant, in cultivation it is relatively easy, but very slow growing.. These plants need very coarse potting soil that drains well (rot prone). Waterings should be rather infrequent, to keep the plant compact and not become excessively elongated or unnatural in appearance.
Frost Tolerance: Depending on the variety, it will take
-5° C (or less) (Temperature Zone: USDA
8-11)
Sun Exposure: It requires strong sun to part sun to develop good spinal growth,
but some summer shade in the hottest hours of the day is beneficial. Assure a good ventilation.

Propagation: It can be reproduced both by seeds and cuttings, but it is often grafted because difficult and slow to grow on its own roots. Older specimens shoot tillers from under tubercles, so they can be grafted, which is a much easier way of propagation than sowing. Young seedlings are tiny and they need several years to reach adult size, and require careful watering.

 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Epithelantha


 



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti