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Melocactus matanzanus

The name of this plant derives from the place of its origin (province of Matanzas, in the northern part of Cuba). It is perhaps the best known and the most cultivated Melocactus. It has a globular body, depressed at the apex, deeply furrowed ribs, barely noticeable areoles and robust spines, slightly curved towards the plant. It has a characteristic light green color and grayish-brown, not very dark spines. At a certain age of the plant, when the cactus stops growing, a whitish spherical cephalium develops at the apex of the plant, formed by red bristles, from which small flowers with thin pink or carmine red petals bloom, but quite often they do not fully emerge from the cephalium. This Melocactus is particularly appreciated for its characteristic showy cephalium, thus it is often called the "Turkish cap".