If you let your imagination go, the glassy white circles of radial spines and the reddish brown, hooked central spines bring to mind parasols with curved handles. The arrangement of the spines, along with the bright pink flowers, makes this a beautiful specimen. However, those little hooks can really grab if one is too close.
Just as I predicted, this Mammillaria bombycina produced its first flowers this spring. Unlike many Mammillaria species, the M. bombycina produces flowers only on mature plants that are at least two to four years old. It is now four years old and several of the heads have flowers.
In just a year's time, this cactus has produced many new heads and is quickly filling its container. If I leave it in its current pot, its growth will slow. If I repot it, the cactus will continue to grow rapidly. In the wild, some specimens have up to 50 heads!