Mammillaria heyderi Muehlenpf.
Ball Cactus, Coral Cactus, Cream Cactus, Cream Pincushion, Flat Cream Pincushion, Heyder's Nipple Cactus, Heyder's Pincushion, Heyder's Pincushion Cactus, Little Nipple Cactus, Nipple Cactus, Pancake Pincushion, Small-spined Cream Pincushion
Cactus hemisphaericus, Cactus heyderi, Cactus heyderi var. hemisphaericus, Cactus sororius, Cactus texensis, Mammillaria buchheimiana, Mammillaria declivis, Mammillaria heyderi var. bullingtoniana, Mammillaria gummifera var. hemisphaerica, Mammillaria hemisphaerica var. albispina, Mammillaria hemisphaerica var. nigrispina, Mammillaria hemisphaerica var. waltheri, Mammillaria heyderi f. hemisphaerica, Mammillaria heyderi var. hemisphaerica, Mammillaria heyderi subsp. heyderi, Mammillaria heyderi var. heyderi, Mammillaria heyderi var. waltheri, Mammillaria lindheimeri, Mammillaria sororia, Mammillaria texensis, Mammillaria waltheri, Neomammillaria heyderi
This species is native to Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas) and the United States (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). It grows in dry, rocky, sandy soils of desert scrub and limestone hills at elevations from 4,000 to 7,000 feet (1229 to 2130 m).
Mammillaria heyderi is a small cactus with a solitary depressed globose stem with conical or pyramidal tubercles tipped with clusters of stout spines. In its native habitat, it grows underground, and the stem is barely above the soil. The stem is up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) tall and 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Tubercles are up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long and 0.3 inches (0.7 cm) in diameter at the base. In the axils, between the tubercles, there is short white wool. Each areole bears 10 to 22 needle-like, up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long radial spines and one shorter, up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long central spine, all usually brownish and darker at the tip. Flowers are white, greenish, or cream to pale pink, with tan, pink, greenish, or brownish midstripes. They are up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter and appear in spring, forming a circle around the stem just below the apex. Fruits are juicy, brilliant red, and contain reddish brown, sometimes yellowish seeds. They are club-shaped, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long, and up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) in diameter.
The specific epithet "heyderi (HEY-der-eye)" honors Edward Heyder (1808-1884), a German cactus grower.
How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria heyderi
Light: Plant this cactus in an area of your garden that receives 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you are growing M. heyderi indoors, place it near the brightest window in your home or office to ensure your cactus gets enough light. If possible, place the pot on the balcony or in the garden for extra light from spring to fall.
Soil: M. heyderi requires a soil mix that provides root aeration and good drainage, whether grown outdoors or indoors. Use a commercial cactus potting mix or create your own.
Temperature: This cactus is heat tolerant, but it is not a cold-hardy plant. M. heyderi can withstand temperatures as low as 25 °F (-3.9 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9b to 11b, 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C).
Watering: From spring to fall, water deeply and wait for the soil to dry out before watering again. Never let the pot sit in water. Suspend watering in the winter.
Fertilizing: M. heyderi can benefit from fertilization during the growing season. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer for cacti and other succulents. Suspend feeding during the winter when the plant goes dormant.
Repotting: Repot every two or three years into a slightly larger pot. The best time to repot your M. heyderi is late winter or early spring, but the repotting process can be done almost any time of the year.
Propagation: Since it is a plant with a solitary growth habit, M. heyderi can be propagated only from seeds. Sow the seeds in late spring or summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
Toxicity of Mammillaria heyderi
M. heyderi is considered non-toxic to both humans and pets.
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