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Cactus Knowledge

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Cactus Types – All You Need To Know About Pincushion Cacti

Cactus Types – All You Need To Know About Pincushion Cacti

The next cactus type of the major types of cacti that we will write about  is the Pincushion Cacti. Obviously by looking at it you can tell where it got its name from. It’s usually a small cactus being no more than 6 inches in height. When looking at it you’ll notice they have gray spines that are dense and short which surround a dark red hooked central spine. Another observation is that these cacti are barrel shaped and grow usually in gravelly areas or under bushes or ledges which will protect them from the full force of the sun and other things. In our Arizona home state they grow under 4500 feet in elevation.

Pincushion cacti contain over 170 species worldwide, the genus Mammillaria being one of the biggest in the family.  When coming west  you will find about 10 species here  in Arizona.  Some other common names that you will run across are Graham’s Nipple Cactus, Arizona Fishhook, Fishhook Cactus, and Ball Cactus.  The scientific name for this cacti is Mammillaria Grahamii(Synonym Mammillaria Microcarpa).

Cactus Types – Growing Your Own Pincushion Cactus

If you want to grow a Pincushion Cactus then you have an easy gardening project at hand. These plants are very tolerant of drought and are very easy going. Soil for the pincushion needs to be dry between watering and so a sandy topsoil will work. These plants will do great in clay pots that are unglazed which  will let any excess moisture evaporate. When you consider the temperature, 50 to 75°F will do. Also spreading gravel around the base of the cactus will help reduce stem rot from occurring. The Pincushion Cactus is really easy to maintain and is suitable for anyone that’s just starting out in gardening. When the cactus matures you’ll see offsets, you can divide these from the mother plant and pop them in the sandy soil mixture to grow. You want to keep the seeds wet when growing Pincushion Cactus.

Cactus Types – The Blooming Pincushion Cactus

Pincushion Cacti will bloom in late spring or early summer giving you pink to lavender flowers which will form a crown at the top of the cactus and will last for several days. Usually these cacti are pollinated by bees and you’ll see the edible fruits devoured by rodents and birds. The beauty of these flowers that the cacti produce attract many hobbyists and photographers around the world. If you’re out in the desert, watch where you step so you won’t miss out on this amazing cactus type. Here at cactus facts we have covered most of the major cactus types and will focus more on the minor ones in articles to come.

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