Mammillaria of the Month

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Mammillaria carnea

Photo: Plant in Cultivation: M. carnea                                                                                                                                                                       Copyright: Chris Davies 2011


Mammillaria carnea is a species from Puebla and Oaxaca, growing mostly in limestone. It was first described in 1837, by Zuccarini from a plant sent by Pfeiffer.
Its spination can be very variable, ranging from very short and dark central spines to those which are long, often very curved. The common thread is that the spines are only central, typically just four, sitting on quite angled tubercles. The axils can be woolly or naked, but don't appear to have bristles or long hairs. The flowers are pink, and new spine growth typically with a pinking tone. The species name, meaning flesh, is given to reflect this pink tone of flower and new spines.

Cultivation is not difficult, the young seedlings germinatin rapidly, and then slowing down in growth, settling to a more modest rate after the first year. The plants do offset, and often form quite large clumps, although these are not often seen on UK show benches.