Mammillaria of the Month

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Mammillaria capensis

Photo: Copyright of Chris Davies 2009

Mammillaria capensis is one of the larger Mammillarias from Baja, also as last month's Mammillaria blossfeldiana one of the Series Ancistracanthae, and comes in two forms. The first is the normal hook spined form, which makes a large multi-stemmed plant a real handful to manage. The other form, sometimes known as v. pallida, has straight spines as is illustrated in the photographs here.

It's stems vary in colour from light to dark green, and they are approximately 2-3cm thick, and up to 50cm long in cultivation. The plants offset at or close to the base, and given this Series normal requirements for an open compost, plenty of sun and a light hand with the watering can, will reward with a sequence of creamy flowers.

These are not unlike those of Mammillaria dioica, Mammillaria hutchisoniana or indeed Mammillaria goodridgei, and it is presumed that there is a reasonably close relationship to this first species at least.

Over-wintering does not require anything too significant, 6-7C should see them rest and grow well again in the following Spring.