Old Lady

(Espostoa melanostele)

A close-up of the top of an Old Lady Cactus.

The best place to identify this species is in the specimen beds near the shuttle gate, though there is one in the specimen beds by the café. This cactus has a hefty stem diameter and a heavy covering of hair-like spines, which is where the common name Old Lady originated. Edward F. Anderson’s 2004 edition of The Cactus Family does not give this species a common name, but it is referenced elsewhere as Old Lady.

The Espostoa genus has not been studied extensively and many species will likely be reclassified through future phylogenics (gene study).

Greenish-white to red colored fruit will follow white bell-shaped flowers.

Distribution is northern to central Peru.

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