Mammillaria tetrancistra Engelm.
Common Fishhook Cactus
Mammillaria phellosperma, Phellosperma tetrancistra
Mammillaria tetrancistra is a fishhook cactus with a cylindrical, usually solitary stem that grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. Each cluster of spines comprises 3 or 4 dark hooked central spines and many straight, white radial spines. Flowers are pink to lavender and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. Fruits are fleshy shiny red and contain many black seeds.
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 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, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a cactus, 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.
This species is native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.
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