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Accepted Scientific Name: Mammillaria elongata DC.
Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 17: 109. 1828
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin. The original natural habitat of this species aare the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo and Querétaro (Mexico).
Mammillaria elongata DC.
Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 17: 109. 1828
- Mammillaria elongata DC.
- Chilita elongata (DC.) Orcutt
- Krainzia elongata (DC.) Doweld
- Leptocladia elongata (DC.) Buxb.
- Leptocladodia elongata (DC.) Buxb.
- Neomammillaria elongata (DC.) Britton & Rose
- Mammillaria elongata f. cristata hort.
- Mammillaria elongata f. monstruosa
- Mammillaria intertexta DC.
- Cactus intertextus (DC.) Kuntze
- Mammillaria elongata var. intertexta (DC.) Salm-Dyck
- Mammillaria subcrocea var. intertexta (DC.) Salm-Dyck
- Mammillaria suberosa var. intertexta (DC.) Salm-Dyck
- Mammillaria stella-aurata Mart. ex Zucc.
- Cactus stella-auratus (Mart. ex Zucc.) Kuntze
- Mammillaria elongata var. stella-aurata (Mart. ex Zucc.) K.Schum.
- Mammillaria elongata f. stella-aurata (Mart. ex Zucc.) Schelle
- Mammillaria subcrocea DC.
- Cactus subcroceus (DC.) Kuntze
- Mammillaria elongata var. subcrocea (DC.) Salm-Dyck
- Mammillaria elongata f. subcrocea (DC.) Schelle
- Neomammillaria subcrocea (DC.) Y.Itô
- Mammillaria tenuis DC.
- Cactus tenuis (DC.) Kuntze
- Mammillaria elongata var. tenuis (DC.) K.Schum.
- Mammillaria elongata f. tenuis (DC.) Schelle
- Mammillaria tenuis var. media DC.
Mammillaria elongata subs. echinaria (DC.) D.R.Hunt
Mammillaria Postscripts 6: 7 (1997)
- Mammillaria elongata subs. echinaria (DC.) D.R.Hunt
- Cactus echinaria (DC.) Kuntze
- Chilita echinaria (DC.) Orcutt
- Leptocladia echinaria (DC.) Buxb.
- Mammillaria echinaria DC.
- Mammillaria echinata DC.
- Mammillaria elongata var. echinata (DC.) K.Schum.
- Mammillaria elongata f. echinata (DC.) Schelle
- Neomammillaria echinaria (DC.) Britton & Rose
- Neomammillaria subcrocea var. echinata (DC.) Y.Itô
Description: Mammillaria elongata is a succulent ground cover, forming with time a tight clumps of erect, ascending, prostrate or recumbent stems. This may be the most common Mammillaria to be found and occurs in more variations than any other Mammillaria species.
Crested form: Due to to its beauty and ease of propagation this crested form (Mammillaria elongata f. cristata is very common and sought after by collectors, for its unique features. There are several clones in cultivation with spines ranging from white or yellow to rusty red.
Stems: Elongated cylindrical, finger-like, 1 - 3 cm in diameter 3-10 cm long.
Tubercle: Tubercles slender conical arranged in perfect spiral in a few rows. The axil is naked or nearly so.
Areoles: Pubescent when young.
Radial spines: 14 - 25 interlocking, arranged as a Astar, variable in number, white to golden yellow to brown, the degree of brown colouring varying from plant to plant, slender, needle-like, more or less recurved 4 - 12 mm long.
Central spines: Usually absent, sometimes 2, yellow to brownish, with dark tips, 10 - 15 mm long.
Flower: Small bell shaped to 10 mm long and in diameter at the upper part of the plant. Perianth segments about 12, rather broad, obtuse or sometimes apiculate. whitish, pale yellow or pinkish, sometimes flushed pink or with pink midstripes.
Blooming season: Spring, but can bloom for a second time later in the year.
Fruit: Pink, becoming red.
Remarks: This is a popular species, but many cultivated forms are hybrids, especially with Mammillaria microhelia.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Mammillaria elongata group
- Mammillaria elongata DC.: It forms a tight clumps of erect, ascending, prostrate or recumbent stems. It occurs in more variations than any other Mammillaria species for colour and spine variations.
- Mammillaria elongata f. cristata hort.: Crested form. Garden origin.
- Mammillaria elongata subs. echinaria (DC.) D.R.Hunt: It is different in that it has 2-3 dark central spines. Unlike the subspecies 'elongata' which has none or very short central spines if any.
- Mammillaria elongata f. monstruosa: Slow growing plant with almost spineless stems. Only a few spines are produced at the base of new growing stems. It will form with time an irregular clump of stems.
- Mammillaria elongata cv. Kopper King: It has showy copper colored spines on the top. The pale yellow flowers contrast with the dark coloured spines.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures.
1) Robert T. Craig “The Mammillaria handbook: with descriptions, illustrations, and key to the species of the genus Mammillaria of the Cactaceae” E P Publishing, 1945
2) John Pilbeam “Mammillaria The Cactus File Handbook” Cirio Pub. Services, 01/Dec/1999Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
3) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
4) David R Hunt; Nigel P Taylor; Graham Charles; International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
5) Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Sánchez , E., Guadalupe Martínez, J. & Bárcenas Luna, R. 2013. Mammillaria elongata. The "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species." Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 27 July 2014.
6) Ulises Guzmán, Salvador Arias, Patricia Dávila, “Catálogo de cactáceas mexicanas” Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico 2003, p.114.
7) Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton: “Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names” Birkhäuser 2004
8) Christopher Brickell “RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers” Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 01/Sep/2010
9) Haustein, Erik. “Der Kosmos-Kakteenführer.” Kosmos / Gesellschaft der Naturfreunde., Stuttgart, 1983
10) Alfred Byrd Graf “Exotica, series 4 international: pictorial cyclopedia of exotic plants from tropical and near-tropic regions” Roehrs Co. Publishers, 1983
Mammillaria elongata f. cristata Photo by: Julio C. García
Mammillaria elongata f. cristata Photo by: Alexander Arzberger
Cultivation and Propagation: Although regarded as a choice plant is not too difficult in a greenhouse, but grows quite slowly. It is sometime seen as a grafted plant but grows very well on its own roots too.
Soil: Use mineral well permeable mineral soil with little organic matter (peat, humus).
Exposure: They need a good amount of light shade to full sun this help to keep the plants healthy, although slow growth.
Watering: Water sparingly from March till October (weekly during summertime, if the weather is sunny enough) , with a little fertilizer added. Less or no water during cold winter months, or when night temperatures remain below 10° to prevent root loss. It is sensitive to overwatering (rot prone).
Fertilization: Feeding may not be necessary at all if the compost is fresh then, feed in summer only if the plant hasn't been repotted recently. Do not feed the plants from September onwards as this can cause lush growth which can be fatal during the darker cold months.
Hardiness: Keep perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (but it is relatively cold resistant and hardy to -5° C, or possibly colder for short periods) In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!! (Temperature Zone: USDA 9-11)
Crested growth: Unlike 'monstrose' varieties of plants, where the variation from normal growth is due to genetic mutation, crested growth can occur on normal plants. Sometimes it's due to variances in light intensity, or damage, but generally the causes are unknown. A crested plant may have some areas growing normally, and a cresting plant that looks like a brain, may revert to normal growth for no apparent reason. If you have any of the crested part left you need to remove the normal growth and leave the crested part behind this will need to be done regularly.
Propagation: Grafting or cuttings. Plants are usually grafted onto column-shaped cacti but proved to be able to produce their own roots if degrafted. Cuttings will take root in a minimum temperature of 20° C (but better in hot weather). Cuttings of healthy shoots can be taken in the spring and summer. Cut the stem with a sharp, sterile knife, leave the cutting in a warm, dry place for a week or weeks (depending on how thick the cutting is) until a callus forms over the wound. Once the callus forms, the cutting may be inserted in a container filled with firmed cactus potting mix topped with a surface layer of coarse grit. They should be placed in the coarse grit only; this prevents the cut end from becoming too wet and allows the roots to penetrate the rich compost underneath. The cuttings should root in 2 to 6 weeks. Large crested piece must be placed on the soil surface without burying the plant base down in the soil.
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