Cactus and Succulents forum: Can anyone ID this cactus?

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Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Blue06
Oct 19, 2017 6:08 PM CST
Recently got two of those. I was told they were hardy in my area (zone 6). I woild appreciate any help in identifying them.


Thumb of 2017-10-20/Blue06/88fc52

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Oct 19, 2017 6:45 PM CST
Look like Cholla. I have several in my yard.
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Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
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DraDiana
Oct 21, 2017 10:39 AM CST
How about this one? They aren't more than 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) in diameter, and the flower is only about 1/4 inch across.


A friend who had it for nearly 50 years gave me a start of it a couple of years before she died. Initially, I tossed it in a cup that was catching drips under the bathroom sink drain, in the dark. I forgot about it for over a year, soaked the little mummies in water, and discovered they were alive.

[Last edited by DraDiana - Oct 21, 2017 11:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 21, 2017 1:41 PM CST

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Looks like a Mammillaria (fruit is edible).
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 21, 2017 1:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
Irises Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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DraDiana
Oct 21, 2017 3:29 PM CST
I'm pretty sure it is one of the nearly 200 Mammilaria out there, but which one? I ate one of its tiny fruits when they came out a few months ago. It didn't kill me, and it was pretty tasty.
It is globular in shape (never elongates), makes clumps, has straight spines (ie. not a fishhook mammilaria). I found a couple of species that look similar, but there were no sizes given on the website where I found them.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
Oct 21, 2017 5:11 PM CST
M. prolifera.
Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
Irises Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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DraDiana
Oct 21, 2017 8:53 PM CST
mcvansoest said:M. prolifera.


Thank You! That fits perfectly. The name prolifera really fits. The site I was looking at posted a PINK variant for the initial thumbnail. None of the subspecies fit, so I'll post it on the database as Mammillaria prolifera, just as you said.
My one other cactus hasn't bloomed in the 49 1/2 years since I bought it with my entire week's allowance of 25 cents at the age of 8. It's in the same pot as my M. prolifera. It looks like the "Golden Torch", but mine has always been in a small pot, so that may be why it has never been as large as the descriptions.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
Oct 21, 2017 11:07 PM CST
Hi Diana,

you are welcome. I have a pretty good book on Mammillarias where they have pictures of all species and subspecies they define, so while there are sometimes still some that are hard to identify, as long as I am willing to go page by page if I have no clue, I can usually come up with something.

I think your other cactus could also be what is called a 'peanut cactus'. Golden torches will actually grow quite big and tall in very small pots, but I would have expected a peanut cactus to have flowered by now... as they are not that hard to get to flower. Very impressive you have kept it alive for that long. In the spring I'd be happy to send you a golden torch cutting for postage. Those root very easily.
Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
Irises Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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DraDiana
Oct 26, 2017 9:26 PM CST
I think your other cactus could also be what is called a 'peanut cactus'. Golden torches will actually grow quite big and tall in very small pots, but I would have expected a peanut cactus to have flowered by now... as they are not that hard to get to flower. Very impressive you have kept it alive for that long. In the spring I'd be happy to send you a golden torch cutting for postage. Those root very easily.[/quote]
This is the cactus I bought in 1968 that has never flowered:
Thumb of 2017-10-27/DraDiana/87e29f
M. prolifera is growing in the same 6 inch pot for size comparison. It was a little taller when it grew outside in Southern California years ago, but never any larger in diameter. Does "peanut cactus" still fit?

Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
Oct 27, 2017 7:40 AM CST
No, I think your original ID of 'Golden Torch' was probably correct. The thin sections I could see in the background of your M. prolifera pictures threw me off.
Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
Irises Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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DraDiana
Oct 27, 2017 6:04 PM CST
Thijs, Thank You!
Now to figure out how to coax it into blooming. Maybe I'll send a piece to my best friend in So Cal, zone 8A, and let her try growing it, and put mine outside in the sun all next summer...
Thumb of 2017-10-27/DraDiana/c7dff3
Thumb of 2017-10-28/DraDiana/514079
Does the golden torch only bloom at night?

Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
Oct 27, 2017 6:06 PM CST
I have many of these growing in pots and in the ground, most are cuttings of cuttings of cuttings - it is a messy plant will grow tall and then flop over - but only one plant ever flowered. I have seen pictures of plants with many flowers all open at once and they are beautiful big white flowers. So I am not really sure what makes these happy enough to flower.

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 27, 2017 6:12 PM CST

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I agree about the messy behavior and the falling over, but the plants here do flower and they look pretty nice when they do it in unison. On top of the ones in the public garden, there's an older clump down the street. It's mostly at night but you can get some good pictures at either end. Perhaps it's the mildness of our climate? Regardless, this would be one of the easiest beginner cacti of its type to root from a cutting and grow on.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 27, 2017 6:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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plantmanager
Oct 27, 2017 6:15 PM CST
It is a messy plant that falls over, and also can crawl along the ground. The one in the database is the largest stand I have and it is under shade cloth and is watered maybe once a month in summer, and not at all in winter. It has only bloomed once in the 14 years I've had it. I'm not sure what the trick is to get it to bloom more. It might need more humidity than I have.
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
Oct 27, 2017 7:06 PM CST
I agree

As long as it gets some shade it is fine with the heat, but it definitely must be too hot and too dry to flower consistently. I am trying to grow some in afternoon full sun, so far so good, but also no flowers.
Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
Irises Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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DraDiana
Oct 27, 2017 11:05 PM CST
Interesting that they bloom consistently in Baja - Zone 11B. Parts of Baja are hotter and drier than anything in NM and AZ, but other parts have a little moisture from the coasts. Last time I was there was in the Spring of 1975. It was a great adventure, lead by Froylan TiscareƱo. He wrote about that trip and his many others in his book ("Baja Adventures", I believe). I don't recall a botanical garden, but we didn't see all of Baja, and I was only 15 at the time.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
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plantmanager
Oct 28, 2017 9:24 AM CST
I was fortunate to take a diving trip around Baja years back. A cacti expert was along on the trip, and it was fascinating to travel around with him giving 'lectures' about what we were seeing. I had never seen cacti growing right down to beaches. I only equated palms with beaches.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 28, 2017 10:10 AM CST

Moderator

Baja California is full of great adventures... we are at the mildest spot on the peninsula, very similar weather to San Diego but a little more dry. There is a pretty extreme climate in the central desert and another very different rainfall pattern on the southern end toward the tropics. When we leave here to go adventuring further south, we make sure to do it during the winter or spring so the weather is not too oppressive. Spring is often the best time in northern BC, especially after a particularly wet winter.

An ecologist friend of mine (whose expertise was in desert palm communities) would give eco-tours to visitors... which I would have liked to experience, given the immense amount of time he spent off-road in the canyons and deserts of central BC. When we were last in the central desert, we saw a giant tour bus full of Germans (or German speakers anyway) doing the eco-tour thing. They had some advanced technology in their bus, which was equipped to survive total isolation. It was like the all-in-one total survival kit.

Most people are content to jump in an old 4x4 with a couple surf boards on the top and see where the road leads. Smiling

My friend the ecologist and one-time tour guide has moved on to other places to study other things, but the palm seedlings he grew and passed on to me have found permanent places in the public garden and park. One day they should be pretty majestic.

[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 28, 2017 10:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Plays in the sandbox Greenhouse Sempervivums
Bromeliad Adeniums Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals
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plantmanager
Oct 28, 2017 10:27 AM CST
I agree that Baja is a great place for plant lovers to travel. At the time it was legal to bring in plants to the US. I brought back plants, seashells and fish for my aquarium. It probably is not possible now without a lot of red tape.
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Name: Diana
Southeast Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover Hibiscus Daylilies
Irises Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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DraDiana
Oct 28, 2017 11:13 AM CST
The desert plants in Baja were fascinating, even at age 15. I had a little cactus and succulent collection at that time, because I grew up in Southern California, and my aunt in the SF Bay area supplied me with cuttings. I attended a few local Cactus and Succulent Society meetings as a teenager. Now all I have is 2 cacti and 2 sedum. I still have beautiful seashells from Baja.

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