slow-growing dwarf cacti from the southern United States and Mexico. It has a roundish shape, briefly columnar, with particular bottleneck at about half the height. The stem is light green, completely covered with small white thorns, in spring and summer produces small white-pink flowers along the crown, which last for a few days. They are followed by small dark pink fruits, containing numerous seeds, hardly fertile.
At times, it forms wide groups formed by several specimens, more often it grows single. E. m. unguispina has characteristic central spines with the tip dyed black and flowers larger and darker.
loves sunny locations, although on the hottest days of July and August it is best to shade it for a few hours, in the hottest moments of the day. It is afraid of the cold, in winter it should be placed in a temperate greenhouse or in the house, keeping a minimum temperature above 10-15 degrees.
For the whole vegetative period, from March to October, it is good to supply water every 7-10 days, leaving the soil to dry well between one watering and the other. In autumn and winter, reduce watering to avoid rottenness. In the spring and summer add fertilizer for greasy plants to the water of the watering every 15-20 days.
likes very well drained calcareous soils; choose a pot large enough and deep enough to ensure enough space for the root system of this plant, which is often very vigorous. Add coarse material to the soil, such as expanded clay, pozzolana or pumice stone, to ensure excellent drainage.
in spring and summer sow the small black seeds in a compound formed by sand and peat in equal parts, keep the substrate moist, in a place sheltered from the air and excessive sun.
Epithelanta: Parasites and diseases
If irrigation is excessive it can be affected by radical rot. It is often attacked by aphids and cochineal.