The melon cactus (Melocactus) is a genus of cacti with more than 30 species. Growers enjoy these cacti for their aesthetically interesting cephalium, a bristly red or white structure that protrudes from the top of the plant from which pink to red flowers grow. Some say it looks like a Fez hat, which is why another common name for this plant is the Turk’s cap cactus. Fruits that are shaped like peppers follow the flowers and tend to attract birds and other wildlife. Young melon cacti do not have the cephalium; it only develops on mature plants. Prior to the appearance of the cephalium, melon cacti look like a basic cactus with a green round or cylindrical shape that has spines along it. It is best to plant the melon cactus in the spring.