Mammillaria of the Month

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Mammillaria aureilanata

Photo: Plant in collection: M. aureilanata                                                                                                                                                                       Copyright: Chris Davies 2012

Mammillaria aureilanata is a rather lovely and earlly flowering species. Its hair like radial spines often totally obscure the plant body, turning it into a cobwebby little sphere. In early Spring, often before even the M. lasiacantha plants are stirring, one can see the pinkish buds develop, and then with the least amount of sun, the flowers will emerge from the mass of cobwebs to open and show their white to pale pink petals, often with a slightly darker stripe.

This species has a large taproot, and in keeping with other such species, needs a very careful hand with watering, and ideally a very open compost.

It comes from San Luis Potosi, where it tends to grow in flat stony terrain, along with other very interesting plants such as Pelecyphora aselliformis. The hair-like bristles are usually white, ageing to yellowish, but yellow spined plants are well known, though the difference has not warranted a varietal or forma attribution, at least not one that has lasted in today's rather encompassing botany.