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Accepted Scientific Name: Mammillaria bocasana cv. Fred Standard Form
This is the original clone, the true FRED that occasionally shows a reversion to the normal form of Mammillaria bocasana. But nowadays a numbers of different monstrous mammillarias has been named FRED, clearly they are not the true self, in fact time by time they produce clusters of strong spines which are not at all similar to those of a Mammillaria bocasana.
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
Description: Fred is one of the most famous and strange monstrous cactus cultivar that forms very rubbery and squishy green and pink glob. It is a mutation that formed on a normal Mammillaria bocasana...it was cut off and started on it's own. This cultivar shows many growing variations, with different crested and monstrous shapes. The plant looks more like some non-cactus succulent than a cactus. Rarely a spine or a hair, monstrous or crested flowers. It may enlarge to form low, massive clusteres.
Stem: Soft, smooth, lumpy, rubbery-textured (much like a tumor) green and pink, some only a few centimetres across. Sometimes it will grow a branch that reverts back to a normal looking cactus, complete with spines and flowers (sort of a reverse of how a Fred began), while the rest of the plant remain mostly monstrous.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Mammillaria cv. Fred (various clones)
- Mammillaria bocasana cv. Fred Standard Form: This is the original clone, the true FRED a mutant form of Mammillaria bocasana. But nowadays a numbers of monstrous mammillarias has been named FRED, clearly they are not the true self.
- Mammillaria cv. Fred f. cristata: It forms soft rubbery textured, clear green, crested stems. Sometimes this clone will have a normal "patch" and remain mostly monstrose.
- Mammillaria cv. Fred Large Head Type: this is the large bodied clone that makes a large clusters of rubbery textured green and pink tipped stems, each 1-2,5 cm across.
- Mammillaria cv. Fred Small Head Type: this is the small bodied clone forming crowded mounds of tiny, spineles stems only a few millimetres across (3-9 mm wide). Each mound may be formed by hundreds of individual heads.
- Mammillaria cv. Fred Tuberculate Type: this is the tuberculated clone with spineles bumped stems only 1,5-2 cm in diameter. Crested stems will also occour.
Notes: Named for the guy that discovered it, this unusual odd spineless mutant plant had scientists baffled for quite some time before it revealed its true self! In fact Fred occasionally shows a reversion to the normal form of Mammillaria bocasana.
Nowadays a numbers of different clones (all named “Fred” ) are available in the trade. All these plants share a similar looking monstrous form of growth, but they are not the true ”Fred” Time by time they produce clusters of strong spines which are not at all similar to those of the Mammillaria bocasana.
Cultivation and Propagation: Mammillaria bocasana "Fred" grows well on its own roots. Keep well ventilated, as it is prone to root rot. Protect from frosts and freezes. Hates the full sun in summer. It can thrive for years, but tend to self destruct, especially when it really odd looking. As with most Freds, it began to die at the base (root rot is common); instead of giving up on it, you can cut it apart, let it heal and start many plants from that one.
Propagation: It is easy to take a Fred and separate the "blog" into many new pieces. Each piece can be started on its own, with a bit of care, patience and maybe a little luck. As with most cactus, you can cut a piece, let it dry for a week or so, and put it into the soil and it will grow new roots, if the conditions are just right. The best luck is with cuttings that are 3 cm or larger; smaller ones will root, but it takes much more effort to keep them alive.
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