Mammillaria matudae Bravo
Mammillaria compacticaulis, Mammillaria matudae f. duocentralis, Mammillaria matudae var. serpentiformis
Mammillaria matudae is a small cactus with cylindrical stems with conical tubercles, each tipped with dense clusters of short spines, almost completely hiding the stem. The stems can grow solitary or slowly clumping, reaching a length of 12 inches (30 cm) and a diameter of 1.2 inches (3 cm). They tend to recline as they grow, giving the mature plant a characteristic sprawling habit. Each areole bears 18 to 20 radial spines and one central spine. The radial spines are very short, appressed, translucent white with a yellowish base, while the central spine is up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) long, pointed upward, white to nearly black, becoming brownish or grayish with age.
During the spring, the plant forms a distinctive brilliant pink to purplish-red ring of flowers, 2 to 3 flowers thick, usually just an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm) from the tips of the stems. The flowers are funnel-shaped and up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long. The fruits are club-shaped, red with a greenish tint, up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long, and contain light brown seeds.
Mammillaria matudae is endemic to Mexico. It occurs in Michoacán, State of Mexico, and Guerrero at elevations that range from 2,300 to 4,100 feet (700 to 1,250 m).
USDA hardiness zone 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, the Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand 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 fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a cactus, 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.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
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