June 27, 2011

Little Nipple Cactus (Mammillaria heyderi)

A couple years ago now, I bought a small little cactus called "Little Nipple Cactus" (Mammillaria heyderi) at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Spring Native Plant Sale, and I planted it in the weird, awkward middle patch in the front yard till we tore out all the grass and rearranged all but one of the plants.  I didn't know where to put it, so I chucked it in a small nursery pot and shoved it by the mailbox where it stayed till a few days ago.

Being curious about things that can survive horrible neglect, I inspected the plant and noticed it had put on some growth and didn't look too bad.  Some of the lower tubercles are damaged, but that's to be expected with age.

This plant is slightly evil.  It's very easy to get stuck by the thorns and yank out not only the thorn but also the tubercle!  Repotting was a little stressful, and it was a lot of gentle open palm resting and what-not.  I'm still not sure if I should put it in the ground because it is a little on the touchy side, and what if I want to submit it to a plant show?  I'm guessing it's going to be in this pot for another year by the mailbox, and it will hopefully put on some more growth although it won't ever be that big.

I think this is a cactus that only growers can appreciate - it doesn't look all that special.  However, it is cold hardy around here, can take a whole mess of neglect, and does eventually form some interesting features as it gets much, much older.  Right now, it's just a little cactus.

Happy Cactus Monday!


  1. It's such a cute little thing!!!

  2. Julie - Thanks! It really is quite precious... AND EVIL!


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