Mammillaria marksiana is a beautiful,
yellow, spring-flowering cactus.
Description: Plants solitary at first, later
Stem: Flattened globose, normally light green, becoming yellowish in
bright light. In the wild
it can grow up to 6-10 cm high, 5-12 cm in diameter,
however in cultivation it can double in size. Milky sap
Tubercle arrangement: With (usually) eight right-winding and 13
left-winding visible contact
Tubercle: Pyramidal, weakly four-sided.
Axil: With lots of snow-white wool, particularly in the blooming
Spines: Thin, needle-like, golden yellow to brown, difficult to
distinguish as centrals and radials, very variable in number, even
within the areoles of the same plant, generally 3 to 8 mm long,
depending on age and origin, younger plants have more spines (7-13),
older ones have fewer ones (2-5)
Flower: Diurnal, bright greenish yellow, 15 mm long and in
diameter. The flowers form in a ring pattern on the previous year’s
Blooming season (Europe): Late winter to early spring.
Fruit: Club shaped, greenish or purplish red, up to 20 mm
long, ripening in summer.
Seed: Small, brown.
Cultivation: An easy and easily flowering species,
but not a fast grower, that may make large clumps given the best conditions. Some plants will offset, and
clumps can be produced in a few years.
Water regularly in summer, but do not over-water (rot
prone). It shouldn't be watered from above, as it would ruin the
fine wool. Use
a pot with good drainage and a
very porous potting media, and keep dry in winter.
Feed with a high
potassium fertilizer in summer.
Avoid frost. Reputedly sensitive to low temperatures, but
less so if kept on the dry side prior to, and
during, cold weather. Outside full sun or
afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light,
and some direct sun.
Tends to get yellowish in strong light, which encourages flowering
and heavy wool and spine production.
Propagation: Division, direct sow after last