Mammillaria crinita DC.
Mammillaria crinita subsp. crinita, Mammillaria ancistroides, Mammillaria criniformis
Mammillaria crinita is a small cactus with dark green, globose to short cylindrical stems with conical tubercles tipped with clusters of spines. The stems grow up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) tall, solitary or clustering from the base. Each areole bears 1 to 4 central spines, one spine hooked, and 10 to 29 radial spines. The central spines are light yellow to dark brown and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. Radial spines are white or yellow and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long. Flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and with a diameter nearly equal to the length. They vary in color from white, yellow, and pink to red. Fruits are green to bright red, spherical to ovate, and contain brownish-black seeds.
M. crinita is a very variable species with many forms, varieties, and subspecies.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering. Unlike many other cacti, which use their ribs as storage devices, Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers appear from these tubercles' axils on the previous year's growth, which accounts for their interesting halo effect. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Mammillaria, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
This species is native to Mexico.
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