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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Epithelantha micromeris – Hikuli Mulato (cactus)

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Epithelantha micromeris is a button cactus in the genus Epithelantha, found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and northeast Mexico. It is characterised by its white-grey spines growing on a globular shaped stem. The density of its white spines give it the illusion of being completely grey, making it very difficult to see the green colour beneath. It grows to be 1–5 cm tall, and roughly 2–4 cm in diameter. E. micromeris produces small, pink-white flowers, often considered to be some of the smallest of the cacti. These flowers give way to a bright red, cylindrical fruit which contains several black seeds and also is edible (from Wikipedia).

Medicine men take Hikuli Mulato to make their sight clearer and to permit them to commune with sorcerers. It is taken by runners as a stimulant and ‘protector’ and the Indians believe that it prolongs life. Alkaloids and triterpenes have been reported from Epithelantha micromeris (Plants of the Gods, Schultes and Hofmann 1992).

Care and Cultivation of Epithelantha micromeris

Keep Epithelantha micromeris in part-shade (25% shade-cloth at most) to full sun. Like other arid zone cacti, they require a dry over-wintering otherwise they may succumb to rot. It also promotes flowering.

1 cactus (20-30mm tall, approx 2 years old)


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