Nickels's pincushion cactus
Far south Texas, around Laredo
Small globes; solitary or cluster forming
Desert scrubland and limestone terraces, at low elevation
Pale yellow with white bands, forming close to or at the tip. Blooms during late summer
Distribution map for coryphantha nickelsiae
In the US, coryphantha nickelsiae grows at the east edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, around Laredo near the Rio Grande in south Texas, and extends further south across three Mexican states. The species is named after Anna Nickels, a Texas cactus enthusiast, and is rare, though not endangered.
Like all members of this genus, plants have prominent, conical tubercles, from which grow 13 to 20 radial spines, the uppermost few always white in color, while the others can be white or shades of brown (darker at the tips). Radial spine lengths are between 1 and 2 inches. Plants usually have a single central spine, pointing outwards or slightly downwards, straight or somewhat curved. This is a small cactus, less than 3 inches in diamater and up to 4 inches high. It can be single or form clumps, the latter behaviour more common further east.