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  Escobaria missouriensis CACTUS ART

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Escobaria missouriensis is one of the most hardy cacti ( to –35°C ) and grows up to the border of Canada (it survives even in Scandinavia, Northern Europe, and without any protection at all).

At first glance it seems very much like E. vivipara but the strange copper flower colour and brightly coloured fruit will quickly distinguish it. Though not exactly showy, the straw-yellow, brown, or amber flowers are quite appealing, as are the bright red fruit that persist from late summer to spring.  It is variable over its huge range, and worth obtaining in various forms.

Description:  Unbranched or profusely branched (eastern populations), forming clumps up to 30+ cm in diameter.
Roots:  Diffuse or short taproots, sometimes adventitious from bases of branches.
Stems:  Deep-seated in substrate, becoming flat-topped and nearly subterranean in winter, 2-8 wide × 1-10 cm tall;
Tubercles:  5-21 soft; areolar glands absent;
Areoles:  With short white wool, not obscuring the basal portion of the spine.
Spines: 6-21 per areole, slightly pubescent, bright white, pale grey, or pale tan, weathering to grey or yellowish brown, dark brownish orange to pale brown or pale greyish pink tips present on all or only the largest plants;
Radial spines: 6-20 per areole, moderately to tightly appressed, 4-16 mm
Central spies: 0(-3) per areole, if 1, erect, if 2, ascending-spreading, 8-20 mm long.
Flowers:  Nearly apical, 18-50 mm long, 15-50 mm wide tepals, fringed (rarely entire), pale greenish yellow to yellow-green, with midstripes of green or rose-pink to pale brown
Filaments:  Brighter pink than inner tepals, pinkish with greenish white bases, or uniformly whitish;
 Bright yellow;
Stigma lobes:  3-7, green or yellowish, 1-5 mm.
Fruits:  Bright orange-red to scarlet when mature, spheric to ellipsoid, 5-10 mm, slightly succulent but not juicy, floral remnant weakly persistent, often lost through weathering.

The closest relatives of Coryphantha missouriensis are C. asperispina Boedeker of Mexico and C. cubensis Britton & Rose of Cuba. Those species collectively composed the segregate genus Neobesseya, now rarely accepted.



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

Photo gallery ESCOBARIA



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Escobaria missouriensis (Sweet) D.R. Hunt

Origin:  Distribution This cactus has a very wide distribution, and is very common in some areas in the U.S.A.: (Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska., New Mexico, North Dakota., Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming) and northern Mexico (Nuevo Leon)
The  missouriensis variety ranges from Idaho to North Dakota, south on the Great Plains to Nebraska, and in the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateaus to New Mexico and Arizona

Habitat:  Found on dry plains, short-grass prairies and rocky shallow uplands, often on limestone soils and under ponderosa pine and in Pinyon-juniper woodland, or Quercus gambelii, loamy places, often restricted to sedimentary rocks.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.


  • Coryphantha missouriensis (Sweet) Britton & Rose in N. L. Britton and A. Brown
     In: Ill. Fl. N. U.S. ed. 2. 2: 570. 1913.
  • Coryphantha missouriensis v. caespitosa (Engelm.) L. Benson
  • Coryphantha missouriensis  v. robustior (Engelm.) L. Benson
  • Coryphantha similis (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose
  • Escobaria missouriensis ssp. navajoensis Hochstätter
  • Escobaria missouriensis  var. caespitosa (Engelm.) D.R. Hunt
  • Escobaria missouriensis v. missouriensis (Sweet) D.R. Hunt [superfluous autonym]
  • Escobaria missouriensis  var. robustior (Engelm.) D.R. Hunt
  • Escobaria missouriensis var. similis (Engelm.) N.P. Taylor
  • Mammillaria missouriensis Sweet
    In: Hort. Brit., 171. 1826
  • Mammillaria roseiflora (Lahman) Weniger
  • Mammillaria similis Engelm.
  • Mammillaria similis var. robustior Engelm.
  • Neobesseya missouriensis (Sweet) Britt. & Rose
  • Neobesseya wissmannii (Hildmann ex K. Schum.) Britt. & Rose
  • Neomammillaria similis (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose ex Rydb.


Cultivation: It comes from an area of summer rainfall.  Keep drier in winter (but for outdoor cultivation it is very resistant to wet conditions, too). It needs good drainage. Very cold resistant, but the frost resistance varies a lot from clone to clone. It can easily be grown outdoors in areas with minimum winter temperatures of -15 -25° (but northern populations are resistant to -35 -45°C).  It needs full sun to light shade.

Propagation: Seeds (no dormancy requirement, they germinate best at  25°C) or by offsets (if available), or occasionally grafted.

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.