Melocactus communis is a Jamaican species of the genus melocactus, which comprises about thirty-six species. This group of plants belongs to the family Cactaceae, and can be found in the West Indies, Mexico, and South America.
The distinctive cephalium, which can be seen at the top, forms when the plant reaches maturity and stops growing. It is this cephalium that bears flowers, usually of a reddish color, and fruits. A melon cactus can take up to seven years to grow, which is part of the reason this species in endangered in the wild.