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 Care to explain?

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jfabiao

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PostSubject: Care to explain?   Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:07 am

Mammillaria nana subsp. duwei frequently (if not always...) shows on garden centers and flower shops for sale with its beautifull hooked central spines. Once I take them home they simply stop growing and the plant becomes just another golfball (kidding, of course). However, this plant of mine decided to throw out a central spine - and, as you can figure from the picture, it hasn't done so for the last 4 years, at least.

So, what's this? What makes this species produce (or stop producing) its central spines?

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Chris43
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PostSubject: Re: Care to explain?   Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:24 pm

With this species, and a few others as well, the central spine appears to be a highly variable feature. I don't think that you can do much to encourage this, I think it is largely a characteristic of the specific plant, though I've known spineless plants somegimes throw out some spines in new growth, and then stop again. It may be a combination of watering and light levels, and maybe fertiliser. But what the trigger is, I don't know.

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Tam

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PostSubject: Re: Care to explain?   Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:00 am

Below is a picture of M.nana duwei Rep 1255 grown from the same batch of seed and has you can see - centrals and no centrals.



This can happen in a number of species such has M.lasiacantha magallanii. From the AfM 2007 seedlist I grewn plants of Rog 088, hamatispina. Most of the seeglings had central spines but some did not.

Has Chris says above, no one knows what causes this. There was an artcile in a Mammillaria Society Journal some years ago by the Fitz Maurice's who collected plants of M.nana which did not have central spines but after a few years in glasshouse started to produce them.
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woltertenhoeve



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PostSubject: Re: Care to explain?   Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:01 pm

In one of my greenhouses I have 2 M. duwei plants, standing right beside each other. Both were grown from habitat collected seed. One of them produces hooked centrals, the other one does not have any centrals. In a more sunny position in another greenhouse, I have an old seed-grown plant of M. duwei, without any centrals. In nature, about 10% of the plants form hooked centrals (but not on every tubercle).
I have the impression that the sunnier position your M. duwei is in, the smaller the chance is that hooked centrals are produced. The FitzMaurice greenhouse, which I visited a few times, is quite shaded, and therefore the plants of the Fitz Maurices do not receive very much direct sunlight. The plants of the Fitz Maurices are quite elongated, much more so than you see in European greenhouses.
M. magallanii (and several lasiacantha related taxa in the Viesca region) form hooked centrals when they are very young, but when they get older the formation of central spines is an exception.

Wolter ten Hoeve, The Netherlands.
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jfabiao

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PostSubject: Re: Care to explain?   Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:17 am

Thank you, Chris & Tam & Wolter. It's one of those mysteries.
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