Melocactus cardinalis

Melocactus cardinalis Lodé, ()
🌵 Author(s)
🌵 Published in Cact.-Avent. Int. 33(1): 76 (2021)

Latin cardĭnālis ‘cardinal’. A joke name for a supposed Melocactus species endemic to the Vatican. For the resemblance of Melocactus matanzanus, Melocactus andinus and Melocactus intortus to a Roman Catholic cardinal. Lodé:

Fake News: Melocactus cardinalis, an overlooked species endemic to the Vatican

Fortunately, this rare species is cultivated religiously in stained glass greenhouses within the Vatican, like Melocactus matanzanus in the Canary Islands (above left), and isn’t going away anytime soon! They look a lot like Melocactus andinus (gruberi n.n., above right), as well as Melocactus intortus, which is found, of course, on the Îles des Saintes, but also in Saint Martin. If it is found in a collection, apart from the Holy See, it is of course a miracle!

Image credit: Lodé 2021

How to cite

Maarten H.J. van der Meer (2022 Sep 16). Melocactus cardinalis. Dictionary of Cactus Names. Retrieved from