Birdfoot Cactus, Nellie Cory Cactus

Escobaria minima

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Escobaria (es-koh-BAR-ree-uh) (Info)
Species: minima (MIN-eh-muh) (Info)
Synonym:Coryphantha minima
Synonym:Coryphantha nellieae
Synonym:Escobaria nellieae
Synonym:Mammillaria nellieae


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

East Haddam, Connecticut

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 27, 2010, dave12122 from East Haddam, CT wrote:

This could be a Zone 6 plant, but is very prone to rotting if the soil is wet in the winter or early Spring. Cold temperatures alone do not seem to bother it, but the combination of wet soil and cold can be deadly. The flowers are relativley large considering the size of the plant. This certainly is worth a gamble.


On Sep 7, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Birdfoot Cactus, Nellie Cory Cactus Escobaria minima, is Endemic to Texas and is classified as an Endangered species.