Mammillaria candidaSay hello to my old Snowball cactus. I grew this from seed I obtained from Mesa Garden C&S nursery and the premier supplier of C&S seed in the U.S.
The seed was sown in the spring of 1987, making the old Snowball 26 years old. It didn't start flowering until its 10th year but has flowered faithfully every year since, except for 2003, the year following the tornado. Our home was hit with an F3 tornado on April 28, 2002. I lost over 200 cacti and other
succulents. Fortunately, more than 100
Mammillaria candida is unique among the mammillarias in that it has seeds with a smooth surface while all other mamms have seeds with a reticulated surface. In plant taxonomy seed structure, as well as flower and fruit structure, is considered important in that they are features less likely to be affected by environmental conditions, and thus displaying true genetically controlled characters. Because of the different seed structure, Mammillaria candida was once named Mammilloydia candida, but now it's back in the genus Mammillaria.
To maintain the tight spine cover, which is the main ornamental feature of this plant, it must have lots of direct sunlight, otherwise, it's relatively easy to grow, although slow. The individual round stems, shown in the photo above, are approximately 8 to 10 cm in diameter. All in all it's a very pretty cactus and of course, another old friend.