Escobaria sneedii v leei SB397 Eddy Co, NM. USA
In cultivation the Escobaria sneedii v. leei will form
beautiful mounds with hundreds of small heads.
Left:10 a.m. the flowers are going to
Right: Noon the flowers are completely open.
Flowers outdoors in the rock garden!
Winter temps down to -25° C, wet and snow are not
E. sneedii var. leei SB397 Eddy
Co, NM, USA
A plant in the green house
It comes from an area of
winter (but for
outdoors cultivation it is very resistant to wet
too). Very cold resistant, Itcan easily
in areas with minimum winter temperatures of - 25°. Needs
full sun to light shade.
dormancy requirement, they
best at 25°C) or usually by
offsets (readily available),
(Rose ex Bödecker) D.R.Hunt 1997
in: Cactaceae Consensus Initiatives, 4 : 5, 1997
The type specimen is at the U.S.
National Herbarium (U.S. # 72134).
Canyon 30 miles southwest of Carlsbad at an elevation of 5500 ft W.T.
USA (New Mexico, Eddy County, Guadalupe Mountains)
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix I.
Threatened This species is quite frequent in its very small area of distribution.
It is popular with collectors and has been subject to commercial
collecting in the past, but is now propagated commercially on a
large scale and is readily available and very common.
Habitat: Primarily it occurs on the tops of
limestone ridges in areas of broken terrain, terraces, rim rock
or in poorly developed
limestone soil, the majority of the plants
grow in cracks in the rocks on north-facing slopes between
1,400-1,800 m in
elevation, rarely under cover, usually sparsely distributed
vegetation of the high Chihuahuan
Chaparral ), a plant
community dominated by large almost
arborescent shrubs such as Dasylirion wheelerii and
Yucca torreyi in association with Muhlenbergia, Agave lechuguilla,
Opuntia phaeacantha, Dalea sp. and Berberis trifoliolata.
recalls the two Mexican naturalists and brothers, Romulo
and Numa Pompilio Escobar, of Mexico City (late 1800s to
"sneedii" has been
named in honour of "J.R. Sneed" who first collected
this plant in 1921 in the Franklin Mountains of El Paso County,
"leei" Has been named after "Willis T. Lee"
(a famous geologist sent on the National Geographic expeditions in the
1920s to assess Carlsbad Cavern for national park status) who first
collected this plant in 1925.
Rose ex Bödecker,
Mammill.-Vergl.-Schluss., 17, 1933; cf. Gray Herb.
Card Cat., Issue 145
sneedii var. leei (Rose ex Boed.)
Cact. Succ. Journ. (US), 41: 189, 1969
sneedii var. leei (Rose ex Boed.)
Cact. Succ. J. (GB), 40(2) : 30, 1978
- Escobaria sneedii
subsp. leei (Rose ex Boed.)
Cactaceae Consensus Initiatives, 4 : 5, 1997
Grows in dense
clusters with as many as 100 or more stems in a clump.
Each individual stem is 1.5-6(8)cm tall and 1-2,5 cm in diameter.
Cylindrical 5 mm long; On
stems with upper surface
30 to 90 very small
typically white often brown at tip, fading to grey, slender and
bristle-like, mostly about 1-2.5 mm long, radiating from areole
and appressed against plant, sometimes with one to few short
Brownish-pink in early April-May. Showy smaller, usually not
opening widely, 1.2 cm long up to 1.5 cm wide;
brownish-pink (rarely pale yellowish, or whitish) in colour, usually
white to pink;
Small elongate, 1-1.5 cm long, green to somewhat reddish;
Seeds: About 0.8-1mm long
and 1.5 mm broad, kidney-shaped, pitted, dark brown, with
The subspecies leei differs from other Escobaria in
clumping habit, small stem size, and tightly,
spination. The wild
population intergrades with other forms of E.
sneedii in the Guadalupe Mountains. This is apparently a
variety of the species in which
spination is retained
throughout the life of the plant. This species is closely related to
E. sneedii var. sneedii from which it differs by having deflexed
spines, rather than spreading ones, brownish - pink flowers as opposed to
rose-magenta ones, and seeds 1 mm long as opposed to 0.75 mm in
In cultivation the Escobaria sneedii v. leei will form beautiful
large mounds with hundreds of small heads.