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Mammillaria lenta

CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Mammillaria lenta is an attractive and rewarding cactus with dense criss-crossing white spines
The slow growth rate but offsetting habit and unusual large flowers make it one of the most sought-after species and it is often a show winner.
 

 

Description: Mammillaria lenta is a very slow growing succulent that branches basally to form quite large flat-topped mounds of off-white to white with age. Some plants will begin to offset when just a few cm across, while others are more reluctant to produce offsets. Slower growing than the somewhat similar M. plumosa.
Roots:
Large, tuberous.
Stems: Flattened globular (or small columnar in cultivation) without latex., almost hidden by the white delicate spines, bright green to yellow green, typically (3-) 5 to 10 cm in diameter, 1 2 (or more) cm high. Offsets may be produced low on the plant, or unusually high near the growing tip.
Tubercles: Slender conical, somewhat firm. In the axil there is short, persistent wool and occasionally a single bristyle.
Areoles: Naked.Parastichy number: 13 - 21.
Radial spines: 30 - 40, dense, fine, soft and close together giving the effect of looking like a bird's nest glassy white to slightly yellow, 3 - 7 mm long.
Central spines: Absent.
Flowers: Produces rings of large pure white flowers with a purplish-pinkish stripe, 20(-25) mm long and 25 mm in diameter. Stigmas are a bright olive-green. Perianth segment pointed.
Blooming season: April/May. Flowering may be reluctant unless it is placed in a warm position with high light levels.
Fruits: Clavate, red, up to 10 mm long.
Seeds: Dull black, diameter approx 1 mm.
 

 

 

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Mammillaria lenta  - ID: 2023517  Irwin  Lightstone
Photo & copyright by Irwin Lightstone.

Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the expressed, written permission of the photographer.


Photo and copyright by Mladen Turcinovic (Croatia)

Photo & copyright by Irwin Lightstone.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Mammillaria lenta K. Brandegee
pubblished in: Zoe 5: 194 (1904) First description

Origin:  Geographic Distribution: Coahuila, Mexico. (Type locality near Viesca)

Habitat:  It grows and clumps in rock cracks. Altitude 900 - 1.400 m.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:

  • Neomammillaria lenta
  • Chilita lenta
  • Escobariopsis lenta

Notes: This species has been referred to as related to Mammillaria sphacelata which is also found in the same type locality


 

 



Cultivation: It is a  slow growing  species.  Use a pot with good drainage and a very porous mineral-based potting mix Potted plants are quite wet-sensitive and easy to rot if over-watered, especially in winter.   Water sparingly during the growing season;  keep very dry in winter.  Feed with a high potassium fertilizer  in summer.
Usually it is recommended to over
-winter this plant in a bright and warm greenhouse with at least 8-10 C , but it has proved to be quite frost resistant (if kept dry, it's hardy as low as -5 C).  Outside full sun or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun.  Some plants will offset readily, and clumps can be produced in a very few years.
Propagation: By direct  sowing after last frost, or by cuttings or grafting.

 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery MAMMILLARIA



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti