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Mammillaria prolifera (Texas Nipple Cactus)


Scientific Name

Mammillaria prolifera (Mill.) Haw.

Common Names

Little Candles, Silver Cluster Cactus, Strawberry Cactus, Texas Nipple Cactus, West Indian Nipple Cactus


Cactus proliferus (basionym), Neomammillaria prolifera

Scientific Classification

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


Mammillaria prolifera is a cactus forming a clump of globose stems to 4 inches (10 cm), bearing short, white or red-brown spines. The flowers are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter, creamy-yellow in color, tinged pink and the outer segments are striped with brown.

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. Treat any cuts with a fungicide… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.


Native to Texas, Mexico, Cuba and Hispaniola.


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