Epithelantha (2013)

By Chris Deem (July 2013)

The room was dirty. That fact seemed important at the time. Greasy curtains covered the small window. There was no pane of glass in the window. It was just an empty, gaping hole to the outside. Hanging on the wall, over an old wooden table, was a small mirror. The table was empty except for an old powder puff and a torn piece of lace.

We were traveling, my friends and I, through Texas and old Mexico. We had money, cameras and time. I was having a good time; I think we all were. We were in the Big Bend area, and I was determined to get a picture of an Epithelantha bokei in habitat. The search, however, took longer than I had anticipated.

A cool, energetic morning had turned into a hot afternoon. The sky was hazy when we found the plant, and I remember the time quite distinctly. It was 2:43.

The cactus was broken and laid torn on a rough piece of limestone. I looked at it and wondered, what could have happened? Perhaps an animal, I thought, but I could see it had been pulled up and broken by a hand.

There was no one to accuse, so we just stood there for a while. Perhaps I should have taken a picture, but it reminded me of a room that was dirty. Anyway, I was hot, and I was no longer having a good time.

The Epithelantha species with the sub-species is E. micromeres. The pale flowers of the cream-colored E. bokei appear later in the spring when compared to those of E. micromeres.

These cacti are slow-growing, and their fruits are red. These facts are true as far as I know. The rest of this article is made up. It is just my way of asking those who may not know, to please resist the urge to rescue a cactus from the wild.