Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mammillaria
Mammillaria senilis

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: senilis (SEE-nil-is) (Info)

Synonym:Mamillopsis senilis
Synonym:Cochemiea senilis

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

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:
Light Shade

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

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
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)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From woody stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

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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There are a total of 9 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Fires_in_motion On Oct 16, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've had many cacti, but this one has by far the most evil spines of any, without doubt. If one gets into your skin or clothing (including seemingly impenetrable gloves), your instinct will be to roll your wrist to dislodge it. This ensures that 10 or more spines will instantly grab into you. I had to physically cut myself free from this plant. I found the best thing to do is to simply cut off all the hooked tips on the lower half of the plant, so that you can repot it. The flowers are big and red, unusual for a Mammillaria. Unfortunately, mine had its entire root system break off while I was wrestling myself free from its spines. So I set it aside for a few months to wait for new roots to grow back, which happens quickly with most Mammillarias. But none grew back, and the bottom half of the trunk rotted into a wet pulp, so I had to discard the plant. (The top of it looked as healthy as the day I bought it, in March.)
Overall, this plant is only for cactus experts and/or masochists. But cut off the spine hooks like I said and it becomes much more manageable.

Positive palmbob On Sep 23, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

ornamental plant with small but deadly sharp, hooked spines. Huge showy red flowers (huge for a Mammillaria).


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

Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
San Diego, California
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

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