The first cactus plant my family actually bought was a Mammillaria spinosissima. It didn't last very long, though, as I did not know how to take care of it back then. Mammillaria was my favourite genus for a while, but that has been overtaken by Gymnocalycium.
| ||Mammillaria prolifera is very easy to grow - prolific is an understatement. |
This is the best Mammillaria to get for beginners, as it grows very fast, forms large clumps and flowers easily when it is large enough. The flowers are white in colour and pods form quite easily too without manual pollination.
| ||This looks like a Mammillaria voburnensis specimen. Its colour is dark green with a hit of brown. The plant clusters naturally. |
The flowers are white with very light streaks of red.
| ||This is a Mammillaria sempervivi plant, or one which looks very much like it. I am coming round to prefering this kind of Mammillaria because it's easier to clean. Wooly species are difficult to clean. |
| ||Mammillaria elongata is long and thin. There are different varieties with different spine colouration. Mine is rather thin, but I've seen some which are very fat |
| ||I have not identified this species, but it has red spines, a soft and fleshy body, a long fleshy tubercles, and cream-coloured flowers with a slightly darker stripe. |
| ||A Mammillaria colinsii. The flower is light cream (almost white) with a light brown strip. It flowers readily if treated well. White-flowered Mammillarias seem to flower more readily than red-flowered Mammillarias. |
| ||Mammillaria camptotricha. Don't confuse this with Mammillaria longimamma. The latter has large yellow flowers and longer tubercles, while the former has thicker, more stubby tubercles and small white flowers. |
My Mammillaria policy now is to grow species which are tough and hardy, resistant to bugs and neglect. Now I also tend to pick species which do not have too many spines, because they are easier to clean.
For more pictures and species, see: