Scientific name: Mammillaria plumosa
Origin: Northeastern Mexico (Coahuila and Nuevo Leon). Altitude 780-1,350m.
Habitat: it grows in clumps grouped in the limestone rock crevices
Common name: Cactus Piuma (the Latin name ‘plumosa’ means ‘feathered’)
Synonyms: Chilita plumosa, Neomammillaria plumosa, Ebnerella plumosa, Escobariopsis plumosa
Description: . low, dense cactus up to 40 cm wide entirely covered with white soft spines. Each body is globular depressed or a little elongated, latex free, 4cm high and with a diameter up to 7cm. Light green, but appears white due to the dense spines.
Tubercles: Small 2-4 mm,
radial spines: they are about 40 per areola of 1-7 mm in length, white, feathery. The spines of this species are very similar to bird feathers because they grow longitudinally with respect to a backbone. This dense spinning provides epidermal protection against the sun and desert sandstorms.
central plugs:. Absent
Flowers: whitish-yellow, small, up to 3-15 mm long (rarely pink), with a strong sweetish scent. Each petal has a slight pink line down to the base. It blooms in late summer / fall.
Cultivation: Place in full sun or light shade in summer. It requires regular water in summer, better to wet the soil and not the thorns. Don’t let the soil dry out too much in winter. It grows best in a soil with good drainage as it is a species prone to rot, it loses its roots if these remain moist for too long a period of time. It then takes a couple of years to regrow them, but once it takes root it can fill a 10-inch pot in a few years.