Small round cactus with small spines protruding out of white patches

by Mike Milne
(Cape Town, South Africa)

Could you please assist me by identifying this succulent.
It's a small round cactus with small spines protruding out of white patches in symmetrical patterns all over the body.
Thanks Mike

Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi Mike, your little cactus could possibly be one of the many genera and species that are commonly grown in warm greenhouses and on household windowsills. I'm sorry I don't have more information for you, cacti are not my forte!

Some of the most common ones are:


Also grown as rock plants in warmer areas are these other genera;


All are drought hardy, and prefer to be thoroughly dried out before watering again. This is important particularly with newly potted plants.

It's also very important not to 'over pot' your plant, by putting it into a much larger pot than it requires.

Only repot these plants into a slightly larger pot each time, to combat the risk of root rot.

Use only a very lean soil, consisting of a large ratio of gravel, mixed with a small amount of regular potting soil.

It's absolutely necessary for the mix to drain fast.

In time, your cactus may produce brightly coloured flowers, which are only formed after prolonged drought, and then a good 'rain fall' or watering.

You can replicate these conditions by withholding water until the surface of the plant actually shrivels, and then resume watering.

It's essential that you give your plant the brightest light possible - these desert plants won't grow in shade, or dim conditions indoors.

See more about cacti here:

Cacti and Succulents

Hardy Cacti

Cactus Plants

Happy Desert Gardening!

PS: Mike, if you do find out the correct identification, I'd love to know what you find out!

Comments for Small round cactus with small spines protruding out of white patches

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Jun 07, 2012
Your cactus
by: Hollie


I have the very same cactus as you, and you may not believe it once you've googled images but you've got a Echinopsis pachanoi.

You will notice these are huge and long.. Mine has never grown to such a size or shape.

Mine has stayed round whilst getting a little larger, and sprouting new smaller balls of cacti

Hope this helps!

Jun 12, 2012
by: wpw

It appears to be Astrophytum asterias. Flowers are magnificent but only last for a day.

Apr 27, 2014
Species identification
by: Guilherme

Your cact is a Echinopsis subdesnudata.

Oct 24, 2014
Found it !
by: suicidesucculents

It's a Echinopsis subdenudata ! I have the same species. :D

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