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PlantFiles: Silken Pincusion
Mammillaria bombycina

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: bombycina (bom-BEE-kin-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Neomammillaria bombycina
Synonym:Chilita bombycina
Synonym:Ebnerella bombycina

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Mammillaria bombycina by palmbob

By cacti_lover
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By Xenomorf
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By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #4 of Mammillaria bombycina by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #5 of Mammillaria bombycina by Xenomorf

By cactus_lover
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By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #7 of Mammillaria bombycina by Xenomorf

There are a total of 17 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Fires_in_motion On Mar 5, 2013, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

An awesome cactus, easily one of the best Mammillarias. Shrugs off all the cold temps here in zone 9A (south Louisiana), can tolerate excess water, is very showy overall. A must-own for all plant lovers, not just cactus fanatics. Can be fairly variable, so if your tastes are like mine, make sure to get one with lots of white tomentum ("fur") and golden-ish spines. I've also noticed the ones grown (and sold at Home Depot and Lowe's) by Altman Plants tend to have larger bodies and have less willingness to offset than most of the show-quality specimens I've seen online. Does anyone know if the heavily clustering form is more of a correct "wild" form?

I currently (April '2013) have four of these plants.

Positive AarronIkarus On Aug 20, 2008, AarronIkarus from Onalaska, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have had great success propogating this plant by snapping off the little buds. I started with a single, long stem and cut it in half. This also has the benefit of encouraging many more buds to form.

Neutral Xenomorf On Feb 7, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant often grows many stems from the base that forms a clump. Flowers are pink-purple with darker midviens. Flowers also reported to be white.

Positive palmbob On Mar 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Solitary sometimes but best if clumping small Mexican cactus with pink flowers and hooked spines that grab you if you get too close. This species has some ornamental 'wool' or 'snow' at the tops of the little columns.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Castro Valley, California
San Diego, California
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Henderson, Nevada
Onalaska, Washington

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