PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Mammillaria
Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: vetula subsp. gracilis
Synonym:Mammillaria gracilis
Synonym:Mammillaria gracilis subsp. fragilis

Category:

Cactus and Succulents

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

Spacing:

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

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

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Foliage:

Succulent

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

Chandler, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Long Beach, California

Lynn, Massachusetts

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Aug 16, 2009, drecenra from Orting, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have found this to be an easy cactus to grow. It will sometimes fall apart, but the pieces can just be rooted into new plants. I have found that it flowers in winter, white/pale green flowers. I enjoy growing it.

Neutral

On Feb 21, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very fragile cactus (to handle)... falls apart in your hands (the suckers fall off)... and roots are almost invisible they are so small. I think it's an easy one to grow, but also easy one to rot.

Now that I've grown one a few years outdoors, it does turn out to be a pretty easy and resilient Mammillaria for outdoor growing in southern California... Mine got knocked over once.. now I have about 8 cacti (as I said, it falls apart super easy). Tolerates a lot of water in the summer, that can rot most other Mammillarias, and a LOT of water in winter (rain) that can rot about anything.

Neutral

On Feb 17, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant clusters freely and forms flat mounds. flowers Flowers are lemon yellow.
The variety 'fragilis' has lighter yellow/white flowers and the stem segments detach easily making it fragile. Birds, dogs, cats, strong vibrations, heavy rain drops, etc, will knock of the stem segments. [aka Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis]
The cultivar 'Pulchella' of the variety ''fragilis' has longer white spines and yellow flowers with red-orange throats and yellow anthers.

Neutral

On Feb 17, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant clusters freely and forms flat mounds. flowers Flowers are lemon yellow.
The variety 'fragilis' has lighter yellow/white flowers and the stem segments detach easily making it fragile.
The cultivar 'Pulchella' of the variety ''fragilis' has longer white spines and yellow flowers with red-orange throats and yellow anthers.