(left) Long-spined version in large pot. I have one or the other or both; either way, the plants are fairly hardy and tolerate watering abuse as well as some shade and hot, mid-summer sun. fragilis (also known as Mammillaria gracilis, or the Thimble Cactus) is the longest name of all my Mammillarias, but a great and hardy potted plant. Some sucker and some seem to be solitary. Water deeply and wait for the soil to completely dry out before watering again. If I cannot tell by a glance, I find further efforts frustrating, and for that reason many of the Mammillarias I grow are just 'Mammillaria species'. Media Kit | (right) Potted plant for sale at a nursery. Some have pale yellow flowers while others have pink. I say surprisingly since cacti with fuzzy soft hairs always look like the sort of delicate plants that would rot effortlessly. Mammillaria longimamma is one of the more popular species; the Dolly Parton of the Mammillaria world with extra large nipples. There are hundreds of other Mammillarias and many are fairly hardy. Mammillaria velatula subsp. The following species are among those I have grown and are still alive in my garden (so they must be hardy!). I have to admit here that many Mammillarias tend to look alike. Mammillaria backbergia is a pretty hardy species as it growing outdoors in the Huntington garden in full sun. Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia) 20. And I am not sure I have it, either. Oh well... (left and middle) My own Mammilliara theresae, growing from a half-inch tall to nearly 3 inches tall before getting trampled. (right) A new cactus grown from a sinlge globe of the original. I had been seeing this plant growing along the road ... read more, I have literal swarms of honey bees yearly. (left) One of my two Mammillaria bocasanas, both doing great. (right) Both forms in pot with other cacti. (right) A mature show plant. Mammillaria decipiens var. Mammillaria supertexta is another user-friendly species with such short, tightly knit spines that they cannot penetrate ones skin. Mammillaria elongata ‘Copper King’ This attractive variety of ladyfinger cactus is green but features contrasting coppery-red spines in clusters. (left) My Mammillaria decipiens v. camptotricha in its orginal form. Though I used to grow all my cacti in the ground, I have run out of suitable ground space so now I am relearning out to grow cacti in pots (some are easier this way... and some are tricky. Some clumps may reach over 3 feet (1m) with many stems. For more information and assistance with identification of Mammillarias go to one of the web sites listed below. (left) Mammillaria pseudocrucigera (middle) Mammillaria schiediana (right) Mammillaria spinosissima, another hardy species. Several photos of two of my Mammillaria matudae. With nearly 200 recognized species, the genus Mammillaria is one of the largest of the cactus family. It is a suckering, columnar plant with pink flowers. This plant seems quite hardy as I have yet to kill either of mine. Mammillaria geminispina is a variable species from what I can tell, with some forms having long spines while other forms have short spines. Two U.S. natives, Mammillaria grahmii (photo by Xenomorf) and Mammillaria longimamma (growing in my garden), Two Mexican natives, Mammillaria bocasana and Mammillaria carmenae. Many Mammillarias seem to enjoy full, hot summer sun, but some obviously do not; I have few of those left in my collection. Mammillaria compressa outdoors at the Huntington, and my own potted plant. It is a suckering, tall columnar species (my largest would be 2 feet tall had in not fallen on its side a few years ago) with very short, tightly knit spines (allowing easy handling with minimal poking) and a characteristic ‘halo' of brilliant pink, closely spaces flowers near, but not at the top of each column. Mammillaria formosa subsp. This cactus variety will not survive a hard frost, but if there is a risk of freezing temperatures it can be brought indoors to grow on a sunny window sill or under a grow light. It looks like it could survive for years off the water stored in the root, but I haven't the courage to try to find out. About | I have three plants that all survive outdoors year round, but none seem to grow or be really happy. Mammillaria rhodantha I have two forms of this species with Mammillaria rhodantha var.