The Plant: A collection of approximately 150 cacti,
some columnar, some spherical or hemispherical, with a compact
growth habit, and free-flowering. Normally flowers on top of the
plant, unlike the Rebutia group that often look similar, but
flower from the bottom of the plant.
Mammillaria bocasana: A cactus of spherical or cylindrical growth habit which eventually forms a clump. It is densely covered with white hairs and hooked thorns and bears small reddish flowers.
Mammillaria elongata: Another clump-forming cactus with columnar stems, densely covered with yellow-brown spines and bearing creamy flowers in summer.
Mammillaria wildii: White thorns cover this columnar,
branching- stemmed cactus, which grows into a clump formation.
In spring, rings of small white flowers appear amidst the long
Mammillaria zeilmanniana: A cactus which forms clumps of short cylindrical stems, with masses of hooked spines. Small purple-pink daisy flowers in spring, occasionally white flowers.
Its Needs: These cacti enjoy strong light and some direct sun.
Dry air, with a winter minimum of 7C
Care: Keep dry in winter months but water moderately throughout spring and summer. Young plants can be re-potted in spring but older plants should be left alone. Offsets can be removed and potted up to make new plants.
Good for: People either like cacti and find them interesting or not. They are very easy to maintain, can be left easily while people go away on holiday, some are more challenging to bring into flower, good for hay-fever and allergy sufferers. Not the ideal gift unless you know the recipient enjoys cacti!
Mealybugs may be a problem in amongst the clumps of small spines.