Five-Spine Rating -
Yes - small container size plant. This variety will occupy a small flower pot comfortably and remain a manageable sized house plant.
This variety will do their best as houseplants with lots of sun and they become stressed with inadequate light which could result in poor health or even death.
Yes - does well with cool winter time temperatures. This variety will tolerate temperatures down below 50 °F. if the roots are kept dry, and will do very well in a home with energy saving thermostat setting.
This variety stores much of its water in the root system and will need a large or deep pot to accommodate their extensive roots.
This variety is unlikely to flower as a house plant and they should be chosen with flowering as a low priority.
Potential living space locations include; East, West windows, but a South window or a three to four seasons room will work better where the plants get more sun. This species will tolerate very cool days and cold nights, and if in winter rest conditions they can survive temperatures below -20 °F. This species is best kept outdoors is all seasons, where it can spend the winter covered in snow. These plants grow better if they are given a cold dry winter rest period.
The native habitat of this plant is scattered through out the Western United States and in northern Mexico growing mostly in range grasslands and pinyon and juniper woodlands. This plant is sometimes given the common name of, 'Missouri Fox-tail Cactus', and older plants often resemble bushy clumps of dead grass. This is a plant with interesting growth habits that give this it the ability to blend in with its natural surrounding, so it is often a very unnoticeable plant.
They usually grow as a single flattened globular stem, but sometimes older plants will make offsets and the plant will expand into a colony of stems. In cultivation it is very common for missouriensis to make pups even before the plant is fully grown. These plants have a lot of expansion and shrinkage between summer and winter. The stem expands to a globular form in the growing seasons spreading the straw colored spines into a spray formation. In the late fall and winter the stem will flatten itself, and sometimes even shrink below the surface of the ground bringing the spines into a tight web covering the top of the plant.
Their flowers help them blend in with the appearance of grass, and flower colors are in the yellow greens, greens to brownish green. The peddle shapes are slender and pointed like blades of grass, and from a distance they help the plant look like grass even while the flower colors are intense.
As seedlings these plants grow in a columnar shape and need to be kept in filtered light as direct sun can easily sun burn them to death. When they become juvenile plants they are more globular and have a light covering of short white spines, but can still easily die from direct sun and still need to be grown in filtered light. Growing into their adult form these plants become more even more globular with longer spines.
These plants require an alpine method to grow from seeds, and keep them out of direct sun until they begin to grow their darker longer adult spines. Another way to anticipate when to start giving them direct sun is to wait until the plants are at least 5 years old before removing them from filtered light. It is common for alpine plants to seem very tough as adults plants, but as seedlings and juveniles they are fragile.
The main stem grows low most of the plants life, but at full size this stem can be over 3 inches wide and 5 inches tall. In propagation these plants produce offsets quickly and the plant grows into a low clustering mound.
Western North America
plant propagation origin
Plants and seeds are grown and propagated by windowsillcactus.com.
items included in purchase
Purchase price includes a bare-root Escobaria missouriensis plant.
Seeds are available on Escobaria missouriensis seeds page.
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