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Mammillaria melanocentra


Scientific Name

Mammillaria melanocentra Poselger


Mammillaria erinacea, Mammillaria melanocentra subsp. melanocentra, Mammillaria runyonii, Neomammillaria runyonii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Subtribe: Cactinae
Genus: Mammillaria


Mammillaria melanocentra is a short cactus with flattened globe shape, up to 7 inches (17.5 cm) tall and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. The green body has large, angled tubercles with wooly axils in youth. Each tubercle is tipped with 7 to 9 needle-like spines that emerge black but age to gray and are tipped black. The small, up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long and in diameter, pink flowers occur, usually in the spring, in a ring on the upper third of the plant body.

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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 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. It's imperative that the cactus is not exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a cacti, 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.


Native to northern Mexico.


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