Texas Nipple Cactus
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Texas Nipple Cactus
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Texas Nipple Cactus
Botanical name: Mammillaria prolifera    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)
Synonyms: Mammillaria glomerata

Texas Nipple Cactus is a low growing cactus, commonly branching to form colonies often 60 cm in diameter. The individual stems dark green, spherical, cylindric or club shaped to 9 cm high, 3-7 cm in diameter of soft texture. Tubercles are cylindrical to conic, about 8 mm long, spreading, without latex. Axils of tubercles have several long, hair-like bristles. Radial spines are 25-40, hair-like, often intergrading with the centrals, straight or twisted, white to yellow to brown, 3-12 mm long. Central spines are 5-12, needle-like, finely velvet-hairy, 4-9 mm long, much stouter than the radials, straight, white to yellow to reddish, with darker tips. Flowers are 1.0-1.8 cm long, borne in old axils but toward top of plant, small, yellowish white, cream or pinkish yellow. Inner tepals are erect, pale yellow, with brownish mid-rib, pointed; filaments pale rose-coloured; anthers at first deflexed inward; style shorter than filaments; stigma-lobes 3, yellow. Fruits are scarlet, club shaped to cylindrical, somewhat curved, 1.5 to 2 cm long, crowned by persistent withering tepals. Texas Nipple Cactus is native to Central America.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in cultivation in Mumbai.

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