WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Generally this small, spherical (young) to cylindrical (older) cactus grows in clusters of stems to 6-inches tall and 2 1/2-inches wide, and densely covered with spines. Note the long central spines have hooked tips.


FLOWER: April. A circle of showy, rose-pink flowers, 3/4–1 1/8-inches diameter (2–3 cm), bloom below the stem apex. Flowers have showy narrow, linear, pointed petals (tepals), the outer ones with fringed edges; numerous red filaments with yellow anthers, and a stigma with greenish lobes. Fruit green maturing red, club-shaped,  1/2–1 1/8 inches long (12–29 mm).


SPINES: The areole on each nipple-like tubercle has 17–35 bristly, white radial spines 1/4–1/2-inch long (6–12 mm), and 1–4 central spines 1/2–5/8-inch long (12–15 mm), reddish-purple to blackish, one with a hooked tip.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, rocky soils; desert grasslands, creosote bush scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,500–5,100 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, NM, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Another fishhook cactus, Wright’s Nipple Cactus, M. wrightii, widespread in central and western NM, has similar flowers but usually a single spherical stem with 2 hooked central spines per areole.


NM COUNTIES: Southern NM in low-elevation, arid habitats: Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Otero, Sierra.

GRAHAM’S  NIPPLE  CACTUS

MAMMILLARIA  GRAHAMII

Cactus Family, Cactaceae

Perennial cactus

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Stems have bristle-like radial spines and long, hooked central spines.

Older stems are cylindric and clustered (above); young stems are spheric and single (below).

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