Mammillaria bocasana is a fast-growing cactus covered with clusters of
silky white hairs, with each cluster surrounding a yellow-to-red hooked
spine. The spines are used to make
fishhooks in Mexico.
Stems: Blue-green, up to 6 cm in diameter, spherical, sometimes
becoming somewhat cylindrical.
Spines: Radials 30 - 50, white, hair-like, 8 - 20 mm long, one
(occasionally two) hooked. Centrals 1 - 7, reddish brown, 5 - 10 mm long.
Flower: Funnel-form, creamy white to pinkish, 13 - 22 mm (0.5 -
0.9 in) long, up to 15 mm (0.6 in) in diameter, in spring and summer.
Fruit: Cylindrical, rosy-pink to red, 2,5 cm long in summer.
bocasana ssp bocasana
First description by Poselger, Allg. Gartenz 21: 94 (1853)
Common name: Powder
Puff Cactus, snowball cactus; powder-puff cactus; fishhooks.
Origin: Central Mexico (San
Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Queretaro states) Altitude 1.750 - 2.300 m
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Note: Several cultivars
exist, with varying quantities of wool, and flower colors. The plants sold
as 'forma multilanata' are very woolly, with yellowish flowers.
- Ebnerella haehneliana,
- Mammillaria seideliana,
- Chilita kunzeana,
- Mammillaria bocasana var. kunzeana,
- Neomammillaria kunzeana,
- Ebnerella kunzeana,
- Mammillaria kunzeana,
- Chilita knebeliana,
- Chilita haehneliana,
- Mammillaria knebeliana,
- Mammillaria haehneliana,
- Ebnerella bocasana,
- Chilita bocasana,
- Neomammillaria bocasana,
- Ebnerella knebeliana
- Mammillaria bocasana var splendens Hort
- Mammillaria bocasana var multilanata Hort
This is one of the easiest species to grow, with
lots of cream-white or pinkish flowers blooming abundantly in spring.
Cultivation: It is a
rapidly growing species. Water regularly in summer, but do not
over-water (rot prone). Use pot with good drainage and a very porous
potting media. Keep dry in winter. Feed with a high potassium fertilizer
in summer. It is quite frost resistant if kept dry, hardy as low as -5°
C (some reports give it hardy to -12°C). Outside full sun or afternoon
shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun.
Easily clustering and easily flowered. Most plants will offset readily,
and clumps can be produced in a very few years.
Propagation: Direct sow after last frost
(usually) or division, wait
offsets that appear at the
base of old clustered
are 1/3 the size of the parent and then detach and plant.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Mammillaria bocasana.