Cactus identification (Mammillaria?)

riveratnight(9)July 5, 2014

Hello! Today I found a very nice cactus at the grocery store for very cheap, so of course I could not resist adding it to my collection. However, none of the cacti sold there are labeled and I have no idea what it is, other than I'm pretty sure it's some type of Mammillaria. It's about the size of a softball. I was hoping someone here might have an idea. I can take more photos if needed.

Also, I don't think I've posted here before. Hi! I'm new to collecting cacti, with a tiny but growing collection of about a dozen, but I have been bit by the bug hard, lol. Hopefully I'll be around a bit.

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Oh my I have the same one and has been wondering about its ID! At least I think it's the same.. I don't think it's a Mammillaria though. Could it be a Parodia?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:39AM
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I'm not sure. I was sifting through Cacti Guide and think it might be a Mammillaria varieaculeata (it looks a little like the first pic), but I will start sifting through the Parodias and see if I can't find a closer match. Hopefully someone will identify it for us! Has yours flowered at all? That might help narrow it down.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mammillaria varieaculeata

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:51AM
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Nope mine is quite new so no flowers yet..
I'm on Cacti Guide too haha! I found these two that seem like it:
Parodia neohorstii
Parodia rutilans

Although some pictures are drastically different from the others..

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:37AM
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I don't think they're P. neohorstii. The spines are very similar but the body of the cactus is wrong. Looking at them vertically, that one has ridges from crown to bottom and the spines are in straight vertical lines on those ridges, whereas ours have bumps that are offset from each other and the spines grow from the bumps.

It looks closer to P. rutilans, so I could see it being that. I still think M. varieaculeata could be a match, too. Neither looks 100% the same to me, though.

This is sort of fun. :D

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Haha identifying could be pretty fun sometimes. I also think it's closer to P. rutilans. And it's true M. varieaculeata seems possible too, although the pattern of the spines look slightly different from ours. HMMMM xD

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Yeah, the M. varieaculeata spines seem longer and fluffier than ours, except in that first pic.

I guess we'll have to wait for flowers to know for sure, unless someone else here knows!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 12:35PM
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I took some better photos and asked at, and they suggested a Mammillaria parkinsonii. Figured I'd pass the info along, although I still think we'll need to wait before we know for sure what it is!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Cool info.! Again some of the pictures look similar but some looks sooo different, like some of them look super hairy and a bit mutated with multiple heads! But yeah I guess we'll just have to wait. I wonder if mine would ever flower, it looks like quite a young cactus and I grow my plants indoor

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Yeah, in some of the photos I can see it, but in others I'm like, "No, they can't be the same!" But I think mine is probably pretty young as well, so they will likely change as they get older.

If it is a Mammillaria, I have three others, all of which have flowered indoors, so hopefully that will be the case for this one, too (although if it's a parkinsonii, it seems to need more light than my others do). I'll post again if it gets any buds.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:01PM
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Sounds good! So if the flower is smaller and pink, it should be safe to say it's a parkinsonii then? I'll do the same with mine, it is now sitting in the centre of my succulent dish

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:36PM
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You have some very nice looking plants David. How Long have you been growing succulents?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:36PM
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Thanks! I just started earlier this May actually, but read bunch of stuff online before I went for it. Now it seems like I can't stop getting new ones... So far they are all doing quite good, hopefully I won't kill anything! My windowsill has limited space though, one day when I own a house I will be able to build up a bigger collection.

Here is a link that might be useful: My windowsill plants collection

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:07PM
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I know what you mean!! I love succulents! (I love plants in general lol) Evertime I go to lowes or a nursery I HAVE to get something! It's very addicting! Lol maybe you can help me...... I just picked up a mixed succulent bowl (they were at a grocery store and I felt bad for them . No light, water retentive soil, etc.). Anyway I'm having trouble with the ID. Is there a certain website you use? For some reason, I m not having that much luck. I was thinking a baby donkey tail but I have no clue. Any advice where to start my search? Thanks! :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:12PM
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Yes, that's almost certainly some kind of donkey's tail variation. I use a few sites including here. But I will include a few more underneath. Most of the time they are sites that sell succulents with mail order, but sometimes even they can have wrong ID for some plants

A nice guideline for succulent ID:

This site is the most complete, but could be a bit complex:

Here is a link that might be useful: Succulent Garden

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Thanks! :) I appreciate it!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:07AM
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Laura Robichaud

Sedum morganianum. Mine started from cuttings early 2013. They were 3" or 4" cuttings started in gritty mix. It is kept very dry in the winter hanging in an east window. It spends it's day hanging outside from spring to frost I full sun (after acclimating, of course.). Advice: make sure it's in a good mix. The thoughts of repotting this plant makes me shiver.

This post was edited by LauraRobichaud on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 8:46

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 8:43AM
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I repotted in a gritty mix. Yes they do give a WHOLE new meaning to the word DELICATE. I had to do it because they were grouped with others in very water retentive soil. When did you notice yours start to thicken up? Mine are soooo small. I hope they get bigger. Is yours STILL very delicate or do they seem to get tougher when it grows? Thanks! VERY PRETTY by the way :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:33AM
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Laura Robichaud

I don't know about others, but the leaves on my plant don't just fall off unless I bump it hard. Some did when I was arranging the cuttings in the pot originally. I just threw the leaves in the pot and many of them just rooted on their own. In my experience, with good light, some fertilizer, outside in the summer, appropriate soil, etc. it's a strong plant. I did just bring it in because we are having downpours every day lately. I didn't lose any leaves. Now, if I were to repot it, I can imagine I'd have many lost leaves.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:08AM
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Yes, repotting these were quite a nightmare, even being super careful, I broke off lots of its leaves, and the bare stems parts are definitely not as attractive.. I have a few pots of these, and one of them still in not-so-great potting mix so I'm thinking to repot them next spring...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Laura Robichaud

David, now would be the time to repot. IMO it would make it much easier to care for it over the winter if it has a good start in appropriate soil during the growing season. Winters are really hard to keep everyone happy and healthy.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Speaking of winter do you guys use grow lights or anything for the winter? Or do anything special besides water less?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:24PM
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Laura Robichaud

It depends on your windows and what you're growing and where you are. I live in Massachusetts. I have a large bay window that faces south, a bedroom window that faces south and a couple of windows that face east that get a lot of morning sunlight. I didn't use lights. After last winter, a few of my plants, despite very little water, could've used lights, so this year, I'll either give those plants away or rig some lights for them.

IMHO, it's a learning process...constant adjusting and understanding your plants and what they need. That's part of the fun...deciphering the clues your plant gives you and adjusting what you're doing to its needs.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:07AM
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