Mammillaria bombycina (Silken Pincushion)
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Mammillaria bombycina (Silken Pincushion)

Silken Pincushion, Chilita bombycina, Ebnerella bombycina, Escobariopsis bombycina,Neomammillaria bombycina


Popular and beautiful, Mammillaria bombycina (Silken Pincushion) is a small cactus, with solitary or clustered stems, that tends to form a large and gorgeous clump over time. The cylindrical stems, up to 6-8 in. tall (15-20 cm) and 2 in. wide (5 cm), are covered with dense white hairs between the tubercles which are adorned white radial spines and hooked reddish-brown central spines. In spring, it bears deep rose-pink funnel-shaped flowers, 0.6 in across (1.5 cm). Silken Pincushion will produce several complete rings of flowers every year. The blossoms are followed by small pinkish green fruits. Easy to grow and fast-growing, this miniature cactus is perfect for containers. It can be grown as a houseplant, but also grows well outdoors in frost-free climates. Protect from cold, as this species is frost sensitive and only hardy to 23°F (-5°C) for brief periods.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 8 in. tall (20 cm) and 20-36 in. wide (50-90 cm). Needs lots and lots of space to grow.
  • Easily grown in a standard cactus compost in full sun or bright filtered light. Water moderately when in growth. Make sure you let the soil dry out between waterings. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Keep the plant dry in winter.
  • Feed every two or three weeks with a balanced liquid feed when in growth. Drought tolerant.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for mealybugs or red spider. Susceptible to rot if over-watered.
  • Propagate by seed sown at 66-75°F (19-24°C) in early spring or by offsets.
  • Native to Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Mammillaria
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" – 8" (15cm – 20cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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Dornenwolf, Flickr, 123rf

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Mammillaria
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" – 8" (15cm – 20cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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