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Mammillaria



A potfull of Mammillaria lenta
at Tucson Botanical Gardens


     Mammillaria is one of the larger genera of cacti having 250 species that range from the southern U.S.A down through Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Some varieties are also found in the West indies. Mammillarias are generally globular, becoming columnar with age. They can be solitary but many eventually produce clumps several feet across. The fascinating variety of their spination and pretty flowers make them very popular cacti.
      Mammillarias differ from other cacti in that the areoles are carried on spirally arranged nipple like tubercules instead of ribs. In fact the genus name comes from the latin for "nipple". Also the flowers aren't born from the areoles, they form in the sometimes wooly space between areoles. Flowers come in almost every color of the rainbow. Some are tiny and insignificant while others can be quite large and colorful. Different species of Mammillarias bloom at various times of year. Someone with a large variety of Mams can be treated to flowers almost year round, especially if greenhoused for the winter.
     Spination varies from the tiny harmless spines of M. luethyi and M. theresae to the long needle sharp spines of M. petersonnii. They can be hooked or straight and range in color from white, tan, yellow, red, brown, or black. Some Mammillarias such as M. hahniana produce hair like spines and wool between the areoles which protects the plant from sun and cold.
      Most Mammillarias are easy to grow in a standard well draining cactus mix, and appreciate strong light and warmth. Most can probably handle some direct sun in gentler climates than mine. When actively growing water regularly, but in winter water sparingly if at all. Other Mams such as M. luethyi are considered difficult to grow and rot prone. For this reason these plants are most often found grafted. Most other Mammillarias however can be easily grown from seed or offsets.




I now have quite a few Mammillarias.
Click on a thumbnail below to go to a page about that plant


Mammillaria
bombycina

Mammillaria
elongata

Mammillaria senilis
"Powder Puff"

Mammillaria hahniana
"Old Lady"

Mammillaria camptotricha
"Birds Nest"

Mammillaria
carmenae

Mammillaria grahamii
"Fish Hook"

Mammillaria
magnimamma

Mammillaria matudae
"Thumb Cactus"

Mammillaria
saboa

Mammillaria laui
subducta

Mammillaria
schumannii

Mammillaria
microhelia

Mammillaria parkinsonii
"Owls Eyes"

Mammillaria duoformis
"Tenango de valle"

Mammillaria
magnifica

Mammillaria rhodantha
ssp. pringlei

Mammillaria
theresae

Mammillaria bocasana
"Powder Puff"

Mammillaria
gracilis

Mammillaria
geminispina

Mammillaria
longiflora

Mammillaria
prolifera

Mammillaria apozolensis
var saltensis

Mammillaria
luethyi

Mammillaria
melanocentra

Mammillaria nana
ssp. duwei

Mammillaria
plumosa

Mammillaria
nivosa

Mammillaria
spinosissima

Mammillaria voburnensis
ssp. eichlamii

Mammillaria
scrippsiana

Mammillaria
karwinskiana

Mammillaria bocasana
"Fred"

Mammillaria
humboldtii

Mammillaria mazatlanensis
ssp. patonii

Mammillaria
longimamma

Mammillaria
huitzilopochtli

Mammillaria
candida

Mammillaria crinita
f. zeilmanniana

Mammillaria
schiedeana

Mammillaria
guelzowiana

Mammillaria
spinosissima ssp. pilcayensis
All images and text are copyright 2006-7 D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.