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Origin and Habitat: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar perhaps of hybrid derivation). It's a variant of M. gracilis
Mammillaria vetula Mart.
Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 16(1): 338, t. 24. 1832 Hort. Reg. Monac. 128. 1829, nom. nud.
- Mammillaria vetula Mart.
- Cactus vetulus (Mart.) Kuntze
- Chilita vetula (Mart.) Orcutt
- Escobariopsis vetula (Mart.) Doweld
- Neomammillaria vetula (Mart.) Britton & Rose
- Mammillaria kuentziana P.Fearn & B.Fearn
- Mammillaria vetula subs. lacostei Plein & Heinr.Weber
- Mammillaria vetula subs. magneticola (J.Meyran) U.Guzmán
- Mammillaria magneticola J.Meyran
Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis (Pfeiff.) D.R.Hunt
Mammillaria Postscripts 6: 6 (1997)
- Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis (Pfeiff.) D.R.Hunt
- Cactus gracilis Kuntze
- Escobariopsis gracilis (Pfeiff.) Doweld
- Krainzia gracilis (Pfeiff.) Doweld
- Mammillaria gracilis Pfeiff.
- Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis (Salm-Dyck) A.Berger
- Chilita fragilis (Salm-Dyck) Orcutt
- Mammillaria fragilis Salm-Dyck
- Neomammillaria fragilis (Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose
- Mammillaria gracilis var. pulchella Salm-Dyck
- Mammillaria gracilis f. pulchella (Salm-Dyck) Schelle
- Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis cv. Clone A
- Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis cv. Arizona Snowcap
Description: This cultivar at first glimpse looks like a larger Mammillaria gracilis cv. Arizona Snowcap
but with coloured spines ans bright pin flowers.
It is characterised by densely packed separate clusters of spines. It looks so different to the wild species that it isn’t easy to realise that they are related. It offsets generously from sides and upper part of plant, which gives it a snowball appearance. Mature group can reach 12-20cm in diameter and up to 10 cm in height.
Stem: Dark green almost concealed by the spines. Shortly cylindrical, to 8 cm long, 2 - 4 cm in diameter and branching profusely by sides, the offsets easily detaches.
Spines: Short, white, cream and oranghis, thick and more densely packaged than its close relative, Mammillaria gracilis.
Flowers: Small, about 12 mm long and in diameter, bright pink in early spring.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Mammillaria vetula group
- Mammillaria vetula Mart.: (Subsp. vetula) has 1-2 central spines, at least 25 radials, and flowers to 15 mm or more long. Distribution: Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and Queretaro at high elevations.
- Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis (Pfeiff.) D.R.Hunt: often lacks central spines, has only 11-16 radials, and flowers to only 12 mm long. Distribution: Hidalgo and Queretaro.
- Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis cv. Arizona Snowcap: Very pretty mutation with shorter thicker white spines. It offsets generously from sides and upper part of plant, which gives it a snowball appearance.
- Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis cv. Clone A: Similar to "Arizona Snowcap" but with with coloured spines and bright pink blooms.
Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis cv. Clone A Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Mammillaria vetula subs. gracilis cv. Clone A Photo by: Cactus Art
Cultivation and Propagation: Readily forms many offsets from sides and top. It does best in a mineral soil, good drainage is essential. Water sparingly during the summer months and keep dry in winter. It is a slow growing plant and once established, it will be content in its position and with its soil for years. Extremely hardy, can tolerate full sun, long periods of dryness and light frost (-4° C). It can also grows in moderate shade, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.
Propagation: It is propagated exclusively from cutting during spring or summer.
Remarks: It is rarely cultivated in the appropriate way (full sun). But the specimens correctly cultivated are really admirable.
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