2019 55¢ Cactus Flower (Pelecyphora aselliformis)
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: February 15, 2019
First Day City: Mesa, AZ
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 400,000,000
One of the strangest cactus species known is called Pelecyphora aselliformis, the hatchet cactus. It is rarely found in cultivation, making it a highly sought plant by cactus and succulent collectors.
Most small to medium-sized cactus species are readily available to those who want to grow them. However, there are some, like the hatchet cactus, that require much more work to find. In fact, often the only way for collectors to acquire the species is by trading or buying from another collector. Greenhouses and nurseries rarely stock the unusual cactus.
The hatchet cactus is a fairly small species and only grows to about four inches tall and two inches in diameter. What makes it unique is the flat, oblong shapes on teh cactus's surface. These are called tubercles and are arranged in spirals down the length of the plant. These tubercles each have 40 to 60 spines, making the plant very tough. Only one other speices in teh cactus family shares this characteristic.
Hatchet cacti are not often seen because they are very slow growing and difficult to cultivate. Only highly skilled cactus collectors own this visually striking plant. But when well taken care of, the plant produces beautiful pink to purple flowers in the spring, making the hatchet cactus worth the hard work.