Monday, November 19, 2007

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii


If you look closely at the top of the Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii, also called M. celsiana, you will see that the areoles are whorled in such a way that they resemble the seed arrangement of the sunflower.

When I got this cactus, it was listing to the right. Even after I transplanted it and tried to straightened it out, it continued to lean. At the rate it's going, it will soon be horizontal! It will remain solitary for a few more years, and then it will begin to divide and get another head. This will continue until there are a number of stems.

The M. muehlenpfordtii, a Mexico native, requires shade in Phoenix, and needs protection when temperatures get below 50°F. It requires little water. In summer, small dark pink-red flowers will appear in a ring near the top of the cactus on new growth.

There is nothing spectacular or rare about this species. It is easy to find and easy to care for, so most every cactus collector has one. Come to think of it, my cactus is rare. You probably won't find many specimens that list to the right.

9 comments:

Lifecruiser said...

Interesting. I had one too a long time ago, another specie. No reason for why it was like that in that case either.

Julie said...

Hi Aiyana...
I think I found the smooth opuntia with magenta (my guess on the color) blooms. Here it the website to read about it.

http://toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_catalog/cat.cgi?uid=Opuntia_cochenillifera.

It is called Opuntia cochenillifera.
I will be interested to see if you think this is it...it sure looks like it!!!
Julie

blueblue said...

I think it looks charming leaning to the side.

You have just been tagged :

To reveal 8 random things we don't know about you !

: )

No Rain said...

Julie,
Thanks! I believe you have the right one. I've checked it out, and it looks like it does best in Zone 10. The reason it's not found around here is that it's too hot and dry. I've never seen it for sale in cactus nurseries, which is usually a good sign it won't do well. It would be fun to try--maybe I'll get a small one from the source you found.

blueblue,
Thanks for the invitation, but I participated in this meme a couple of months ago, which required seven random things instead of eight. It's found under the label "meme" in my Label list to the right.

Liam Thompson said...

I just bought two of these. I am new to the cactus scene and am still learning. so I have planted one on the west face side of my house where it will get full sun from 1pm to about 5 PM. Shade all the rest of the day. (San Diego heat) The other I am keeping in a pot until I am sure i don't kill the first one. What surprises me is that there is little knowledge or mention of the tasty fruit these cactus produce, which is why I am buying these and hoping to have many in my yard for my children to enjoy snacking on in the summer. Not even the cactus folks at local nurseries seem to know you can eat the tasty fruit from these. Anyone here aware of this? They taste like a strawberry to me on the sour side.

Liam Thompson said...

I bought two of these and am excited to have them. I am new to the cactus scene and still learning, so i only planted one and have the other in a pot in case i kill the first one. I have it on the west facing side of my house where it gets full sun from 1pm to about 6:30pm. Shade the rest of the day. What surprises me is that there is little knowledge or mention anywhere that you can eat the very tasty fruit from these cacti and some of its relatives. These taste like yummy somewhat sour strawberries. The main reason I got them actually. I hope to have a long row of these for my kids to enjoy as a treat during the summer months. Anyone else here know you can eat these? Not even the local nurseries for plants or the cacti nurseries around here seem to know that you can eat these delicious fruit.

Aiyana said...

Hi Liam,
I was not aware of that! Thanks for passing on the info. Where did you learn about the fruit?
Aiyana

Liam Thompson said...

My pleasure. I actually learned about it from an episode of the documentary show called 'Survivor Man'. He pointed some out in the south American US desert (i forget which state)and proceeded to eat them and talk a little about them. The species he found in the desert was Mammillaria prolifera, but I have not been able to find it for sale locally so far, which is a shame because I think the fruit is the largest on that one. But doing some research I discovered that Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii grows the same tasty fruit, only smaller. They look like small red chili peppers when the flowers die and fall away, you will know they are ready to pick when they begin to noticeably protrude from the cactus and they come free easily when you grab the end and are able to remove them with almost no pulling. They really are quite good. They are almost like a cross taste wise of a strawberry and a kiwi. give it a try =)

Liam Thompson said...

My pleasure. I actually learned about it from an episode of the documentary show called 'Survivor Man'. He pointed some out in the south American US desert (i forget which state)and proceeded to eat them and talk a little about them. The species he found in the desert was Mammillaria prolifera, but I have not been able to find it for sale locally so far, which is a shame because I think the fruit is the largest on that one. But doing some research I discovered that Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii grows the same tasty fruit, only smaller. They look like small red chili peppers when the flowers die and fall away, you will know they are ready to pick when they begin to noticeably protrude from the cactus and they come free easily when you grab the end and are able to remove them with almost no pulling. They really are quite good. They are almost like a cross taste wise of a strawberry and a kiwi. give it a try =)