Mammillaria nivosa

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cactuspic
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Mammillaria nivosa

Post by cactuspic »

My Mammillaria nivosa has always looked nice, but it never really grew much. This last year, it put out a number of offsets. It is telling me it wants an upgrade from its three inch pot. I love the ripe red berries which I will soon open to see if I seeds set.

Hope you enjoy.

Irwin

Image
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Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Hey Irwin, you don't eat those berries do ya? I knew some people out in California who used to go out in the desert and pick things off of cactus's to eat. Heck, they'ed be gone for days, sometimes weeks... :-k Just kidding... :lol: Beautiful cacti :D

JoanYoung
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Post by JoanYoung »

Excellent shot Irwin. It reminds me of tomatoes on cocktail sticks. :D Are they edible as Ken says?
Joan Young

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

You can eat a lot of Mammillaria fruit Ken, but preferably not after you have used systemic insecticides!

DaveW

cactuspic
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Post by cactuspic »

Ken, Joan, and Dave, thank you for viewing and commenting. I have in the past eaten the fruits of some mammillarias. In Mexico they eat the fruits of opuntia, known as tunas. Several other cactus berries are also eaten but I am not sure which. But Dave raises a good point. Systemic poisons make nibbling in someone's collection chancy.

Irwin

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

At our cactus shows we used to wait until a member picked a fruit off our plant and was eating it and then said "I watered that with systemic insecticide the other day" and watched their face. Obviously we had not or we would have stopped them before they ate it! However the point is don't pick fruit off a cultivated plant unless you know systemics have not been used.

DaveW

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

A wonderful Picture Irwin. Can you get the red fruit and no seeds? I for one love the prickly pear fruits from opuntia cacti (You can eat the cacti pads also) :wink: . We used to get them in the supermarkets and you had to be real careful not to get the very small spines in your hands because they were very small and you could not see them but you sure could feel them :shock: Now I think they have spinless ones.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

The small hair like supplementary spines on Opuntia are called glochids Doug. The best way to remove them us to spread strongly adhesive sticky tape over the area and peel it off, hopefully with most of the glochids. Failing that for the ones that are left use a razor and shave them flush with the skin until they work out.

In the old days we used to put an Opuntia at each corner of the show stand with a warning notice not to touch the plants. That stopped the plant prodders immediately once they has a few glochids in them, because just warning notices never seemed to be taken any notice of. I don't suppose the Health and Safety Department would approve of that now though:-

http://www.cactus-art.biz/note-book/Dic ... ochids.htm

I am sure Irwin and Bruce will have had as many glochids in them as me over the years and will find the following sensational account I found when trying to find the above illustration funny:-

http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/plantbio/1 ... 08406.html

Possibly there are some people hypersensitive to them, and you are in a mess if you hit a pad, or it falls on you, but generally after your first brush with Opuntia's you treat them with profound respect!

DaveW
Last edited by DaveW on Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

cactuspic
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Post by cactuspic »

Doug, having taken high magnification images of opuntia glochids, I second everything Dave said. The glochid have loosely attached spines that are barbed and have a breakaway design. Once the barb has set, it is nearly impossible to extract the full spine. I have used tapes, coated my fingers with Elmer's glue and peeled, and performed tweezer surgery. Nothing works well. Not only that, they seem to be sharp on both ends.

Image

The image as a few halos that I will have to remove at my first chance.

Irwin

JoanYoung
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Post by JoanYoung »

I love prickly pears too Doug, and can eat a whole box full, but I HATE peeling them. :D My method is to hold one pierced with a fork, cut both end off and make a slit down the length. Then you can pry one side over and extract them from their skin like that witout touching them. Thank goodness they now have the thornless variety. :D
Joan Young

arlon
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Post by arlon »

Thanks for the education Dave. When my son was about 4 years old he brought home a prickley pear pad he found in the park and wanted to grow it. Only problem was he had a ball with him and it took both hands to carry that. He brought the pad home under his arm! Just a "T" shirt on and we picked hundreds of "opuntia glochids" out from under his arm for hours. That pad has grown into a very large cactus, so large it's had to be cut back several times so the meter reader could get to our gas meter.
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