Mammillaria solisioides Backeb.
Golf Ball, Golf Ball Cactus, Golf's Ball Cactus
Chilita herrerae, Escobariopsis herrerae, Neomammillaria herrerae
Mammillaria herrerae is native to Mexico (a very small area in Queretaro).
Mammillaria herrerae is a cute small cactus with globose or slightly elongated stems covered with clusters of white spines. The stems grow up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) tall and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter, solitary or produce offsets that sprout around the base of the stem. Tubercles are cylindrical, closely set, and tipped with an areole that bears 100 or more bristly radial spines.
The showy flowers are diurnal, pale pink to red-violet, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, nearly equal in diameter, and appear in spring. The plant starts to produce flowers when it is 5 to 7 years old and at least 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. Fruits are spherical, whitish, and contain black seeds.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 expand to allow for increased 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, ensure 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 it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
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