Ball Cactus, Cream Cactus, Cream Pincushion, Flat Cream Pincushion, Heyder's Nipple Cactus

Mammillaria heyderi

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: heyderi (HEY-der-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Mammillaria heyderi subsp. heyderi
Synonym:Cactus heyderi
Synonym:Mammillaria parrasensis
Synonym:Neomammillaria heyderi


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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


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

Oak View, California

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kermit, Texas

Portland, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 29, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

There a total of six subspecies:
The subspecies 'heyderi' has 1 central spine and 15-22 radial spines; Flowers are cream color with brownish-greenish midveins.
Subspecies 'gaumeri' has one central spine and 10-12 radial spines; Flowers are plain creamy-white.
Subspecies 'gumifera' has 1-2 central spines and 10-12 radial spines: Flowers are reddish-white with darker midviens.
Subspecies 'hemisphaerica' has 1 central spine and 9-13 radial spines; Flowers are Cream-colored to dusty pink.
Subspecies 'macdougalii 1-2 central spines which are stouter and 10-12 radials spines; Flowers are cream-colored to pale yellow.
Subspecies 'meiacantha' has one to none central spines and 5-9 radial spines; Flowers are pink or white with pink midviens.


On Jun 15, 2001, Amari from Austin, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Mammillaria applanata
As the name indicates - applanata means 'flattened' - this is a plant of small height, a fairly rare trait in cacti of this genus for most Mammillarias, especially in European cultures, are club-shaped or tall cylindrical forms. Of the related species (Mammillaria heyderi, Mammillaria hemisphaerica and others) Mammillaria applanata is often the flattest, for with a diameter of more than 10 cm it attains a height of only 2.5 to 5 cm and in addition has a depressed crown covered with white wool. The areoles on the flattened, angular tubercles bear 15 to 20 radial spines, whitish, 5 to 12 mm long, and one stronger erect central spine coloured brown with a black tip. The flowers, appearing in May, are about 2 cm long and up to 3.5 cm broad, cream to pinkish on the... read more