Turk's Cap Cactus

Melocactus azureus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melocactus (mel-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: azureus (a-ZOOR-ee-us) (Info)
Synonym:Melocactus azureus subsp. azureus
Synonym:Melocactus azureus var. azureus


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


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

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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 seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

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:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Reseda, California

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 10, 2015, Barkleythedog from Tuscaloosa, AL wrote:

These cactus can be hard to keep alive sometimes.their roots aren't very efficient at absorbing large amounts of water at one time,so rot is a common problem with them.im quite surprised it survived cold weather.


On Oct 12, 2010, smurfwv from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I got one of these thinking it was going to be a large flowering variety, but once I found the name and did a search, I was very disappointed. I usually only collect large flowering cacti so this one will find a new home.


On Apr 24, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Brazilian tropical cactus that has a surprising degree of cold hardiness in So Cal... in some areas it probably has to be grown under shade cloth if grown outdoors, at least in cooler winter areas, but in zone 9b and up, seems to do pretty well outdoors. I have had this plant living outdoors in Thousand Oaks for about 8 years where temps routinely dipped into the high and sometimes mid 20s and I haven't even seen cold damage to the plant. I is listed by most sources as a zone 11 plant, but i think that's being pretty pessimistic. Jan 07 freeze in southern California damaged all the Pilosocereus in the yard, destroyed LOTs of Euphorbias, Aloes and even Agaves, yet left his plant untouched.

Gets to a maximum of 8-12" (taller if you include the cephalium). If grown in wa... read more