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Discocactus crystallophilus
(Syn: Discocactus placentiformis)

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

This fiercely spined species has very fragrant flowers (like Lemon flowers)
that open up in the evening and close up early the next morning.

Description: Solitary, flattened globose cactus that form a white cephalium at maturity.
Stem: Shaped like a cake up to 6 cm tall (8-9 cm with cephalium), 15 cm in diameter. The epidermis is light green to brownish-green.
Flowers: Nocturnal, very fragrant up to 7-8 cm long, 6 cm in diameter.
Blooming season: Flowers come in profusion in summer, out of the cephalium.
Spines: 5-7 (or more)  brown to reddish.

Discocactus crystallophilus  HU582

Apex with bud.


Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Discocactus crystallophilus Diers & Esteves
In: Kakteen Sukk. 32(11):258. 1981

(The species name is sometime misspelled: "cristallophylus", "crystallophylus" or "cristallophilus")

Subfamily: Cactoideae tribe: Trichocereeae.

Origin:  Brazil (Minas Gerais)
Habitat: This cactus grows in the shade of trees.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 1.These species are threatened with extinction.


  • Discocactus placentiformis (Lehm.)K. Schum
  • Cactus placentiformis
  • Discocactus alteolens Lemoine ex A.Dietr.
  • Discocactus latispinus Buining & Brederoo
  • Discocactus milticolorispinus P.J.Braun & Brederoo
  • Discocactus pseudolatispinus Diers & Esteves
  • Discocactus pugionacanthus Buining & Brederoo
  • Discocactus pulvinicapitatus Buining & Brederoo
  • Discocactus tricornis Monv. ex Pfeiff. & Otto
  • Melocactus besleri


Cultivation: Collectors consider this cactus genus from South America to be rarities as they are not the easiest plant to keep happy. it is rather difficult to grow and frost tender, should be kept at above 15 C if grown on its own roots (8C if grafted) need full sun or afternoon shade. Young seedlings are generally grafted because they are slow growing and very rot prone when kept on their own roots and though they cant endure long stretches of total dryness, too much water will rot them, as their weak root systems tend to be inefficient at sucking up water from wet soil. They generally resent being repotted and can take a long time to establish.

Propagation: Seed. Young seedlings are often grafted on a low stock to keep the plant in a good shape.



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

Photo gallery Discocactus



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This plant description is based on research and personal experiences and is too short to provide a comprehensive coverage of the subject. Do you see an error in what is shown? Or do you know more about the species than we are showing? Your help is greatly appreciated. Why not send us an email with further information or photos so that we can correct or extend the information provided?

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