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Plant - spring
Superstitions - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Mammillaria grahamii - Graham's nipple cactus

Synonyms: Mammillaria microcarpa, Mammillaria milleri, Mammillaria oliviae
Other Common Names: Arizona fishhook cactus, pincushion cactus
Plant Form: Cacti

Family: Cactaceae

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Sue Smith
Sue Smith
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Desc: Plants may be solitary or part of small clusters; they are small and often in grasses or bushes so are often overlooked unless flowering. Mammillaria grahamii is protected in Arizona.
Identification notes: Central spines hooked, stems greater than than 1-1/2 inches in diameter, flowers in a ring below the apex, outer tepals minutely fringed, plants unbranched or branched and green or yellow-green stigma lobes distinguish this Mammillaria sp.
Height: 6 inches     Width: 1 to 2-1/2 inches


Habitat Description: Desert scrub; grasslands; interior chaparral; oak woodlands; alluvial slopes; hills; canyons; silty, sandy, gravelly, or rocky soils of igneous or calcareous origin.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands
Elevation: 250 - 4600 feet


Color: Pink     Flowering Period: Apr - Jul
Description: Light pink edges with darker pink centers and yellow-green to green stigmas. The flowers are arranged in a circle around the stem below the apex.


Stem Color: Green     Number of Stems: Single or Multiple     Stem Shape: Cylindrical     Stems Segmented: N     Stem Surface: Bumpy
Stem Description: Solitary or in small clumps of 0 to 9 stems, 2 to 6 inches tall, 1-1/2 to 3 inches wide.

Areoles (structures unique to cacti, found on the stems, areas from which spines, flowers and fruits emerge)

Areole Description: 23-33 spines per areole; radial spines (17-35) are whitish or pale tan and are stiff; central spines (3-4, at least 1-3 are hooked)are reddish to purplish brown to almost black.
Spine Color: Whitish, tan, dark red-brown     Spines Hooked: Y    
Spine Description: Mostly bristly white radial spines but with 1, 2 or 3 longer and more central spines that are dark red-brown in color and strongly hooked at the end.


Fruit Color: Red   
Fruit Notes: 1 inch long smooth red fruits.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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