Mammillaria elongata DC.
Ladyfinger Cactus, Lady Fingers, Golden Stars, Gold Lace Cactus
Mammillaria elongata subsp. elongata, Chilita elongata, Leptocladia elongata, Leptocladodia elongata, Mammillaria densa, Mammillaria echinata var. densa, Neomammillaria elongata
Mammillaria elongata is a small cactus that forms dense clusters of bright green, cylindrical, erect or semi-prostrate stems with short conical tubercles ending in round woolly areoles that bear clusters of yellow to golden yellow spines. The stems grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Spines are variable in number, between 14 and 25, more or less recurved, and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. Flowers are whitish, pale yellow, or pinkish, sometimes flushed pink or with pink mid stripes. They are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter and appear on the upper part of the stems in spring.
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 increase water storage. The flowers emerge from the axils of these tubercles 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, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. 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 central Mexico.
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