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Melocactus pruinosus Werderm.

Family Name: Cactaceae
Synonyms: Melocactus concinnus
Common Name: Turk's Cap Cactus, Melon Cactus
Semi-Shade Little Water Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 8 cm to 9 cm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 10 cm to 11 cm


Native Distribution Brazil
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Desert / Semi-Desert)
Preferred Climate Zone Desert / Arid
Local Conservation Status Exotic
CITES Protection True

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form This species has a round growth form up to 5-6 cm tall. Sexually mature individuals have a cap-like structure on top known as a cephalium (2.5 cm tall).
Stems Bluish stem is composed of thick ribs which are triangular in cross-section and densely lined with thick, curved spines. Each areole produces about 7-8 white spines with reddish brown tips.
Flowers Flowers and fruits are produced from the cephalium, a red, cap-like structure found on top of sexually mature individuals. The cephalium lacks spines and is composed of a dense mass of white wool and red bristles. It is produced by individuals at least 5 years of age or 8 cm wide. Small, bright purple flowers (< 1 cm wide) are star-shaped.
Fruits Bright purple, fleshy fruits are rod-shaped and emerge erect from the white wool of the cephalium. They are produced after the flowers wither in the following year.
Habitat This species occurs on sandy, rocky soils at an altitude of about 1,000 m. It grows on hillsides, often below dwarf trees and shrubs.
Cultivation This species should be grown in a shallow, wide pot with a very porous potting mix to avoid root rot. It prefers moderate shade in a location protected from the wind. When plants are actively growing, they should be watered regularly.
Etymology The species epithet 'concinnus' means graceful.

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Little Water
Maintenance Requirements High
Propagation Method Seed

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Symmetry Radial

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Purple
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit


References Slaba, R.. 1992. The Illustrated Guide to Cacti. USA: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.. 224

Image Repository



Master ID 31844
Species ID 6244
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 15 September 2020.

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