LACE CACTUS (Mammillaria elongata)

I’m not a fan of Cacti……..or…….Succulents.

Well, maybe I do like some of their flowers.  I’ve also had the experience of leaning too close to a Prickly pear and been pierced on both arms and stomach with dozens of hair-like prickles…….twice…..even through thick jeans.  Spending ages removing the prickles would make you think I’d learned my lesson not to lean too close, but it took 2 lessons to learn that.

I prefer soft dainty flowers (in general).

But ‘When in Rome’……..or Guilfoyle’s Volcano or the Arid Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, one may as well take photos of them…..especially as they stand still and don’t wave around in the wind 🙂

LACE CACTUS (Mammillaria elongata)

These 2 plant areas are located in the south-east corner and close to where I used to live, so when I took up Photography, I walked past them every Garden excursion and got lots of practice with my, then, 100mm f2.8 Macro lens.  I traded this lens back in 2015 as I didn’t use it much and wanted to buy the lightweight Sony a6000 (which was way above my gear budget at that time).  I’ve also taken lots of images with my 18-200mm lens (which eventually died after 80,000+ images in 2015).

Needless to say, I seem to have an inordinate amount of Cacti images, many of them in unlabeled folders.  One of these days I must look them all up via Google images and put names on the folders instead of just……..CACTI.

The Lace Cactus (Mammillaria elongate) is one of the few which is identified.


22 thoughts on “LACE CACTUS (Mammillaria elongata)

  1. I had one of those ‘Bunny Ears’ cactus that every time I got too near would leave me with tiny prickers. One day when it happened again, I thought, “WHY do I keep this thing?!” and promptly threw it in the trash! End of problem. 🙂

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    1. Wise decision, Eliza. Even after a few hours work with tweezers, I seemed to find more prickles in the following days. I think some of them got caught in my jeans and kept ‘stabbing’ me. The prickles are so tiny. Anyway, those jeans are too small at the moment 🙂

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  2. Lovely! I grew up in the desert and I enjoy succulents. I have a lot of them at my home and office. No thorns though. I’ve had one Jade plant for 20 years and 4 other succulents for 10. They are so beautiful even if they don’t bloom. My husband is allergic to almost all growing things, but he can handle succulents, so we are a good match!

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    1. The Jade Plant is really quite nice, KD. I keep forgetting to buy myself an Aloe Vera plant as I often burn myself on the oven rungs, although neat Lavender essential oil works so well for burns and burn scars.

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      1. I had a huge aloe vera plant in a pot that I brought in and out of the house. Then one night I forgot to bring it in and a hard frost hit, killing it. I still miss it.

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  3. I’m not a fan of cacti either. I once picked up a prickly pear fruit in a supermarket and learned the hard way about its prickles, so I sympathise with you Vicki, over your unpleasant experience. I do quite like succulents, have recently bought some sempervivens and am waiting for them to flower.

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    1. My Mother changed many of her English garden plants to succulents when my Parents first moved into a retirement unit in the early 1990s. She had quite a collection. I borrowed her (old) Cacti & Succulent books for a few months and didn’t score many names though.

      Maybe my best bet in naming them is to spend more time online looking at Specialist nursery images.

      The Botanic Gardens charges $10 to identify any plant for you, so dropped the idea of taking my laptop to the service desk at the Herbarium in the Royal Botanic Gardens (in the hope that they would be able to assist in names). Gosh, you have to pay for EVERYthing these days.

      If I had a car, I could just drive to a Cacti nursery in the outer suburbs.

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    1. Would love to see your photos of Cacti, Peggy. (especially if you know their names, although I just discovered half a dozen names attached to photos on the Botanic Gardens website).

      Trouble with naming them is that Google images show multiple different plants under the one plant name. I have tried trawling through some Cacti & Succulent specialist nurseries, but it is a long and tedious task I must say.

      I think I mentioned in a post that I’d gone into Dymocks Bookstore in the city looking for a cacti book, but for all their glamorous arty photos (especially on landscaping with cacti), none of them had good front-on views that were 100% recognisable. So many very, very similar-looking plants.

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  4. I had a pair of pet cacti. One, the lace cactus, died after several years. The other, a columnar variety, has grown from about four inches to two feet!I like it because it blooms repeatedly for two or three months, with pretty yellow flowers. I need to update my post about them. I still miss the lace cactus.

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    1. I believe those columnar ones can grow very tall indeed. In fact I’ve got a good shot of one somewhere. I’m just trying to name some of my cacti shots so might come across it soon.

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  5. I’ll stick my neck out here, and say how much I adore Cacti! Succulents also, but it’s the cacti who come first for me. I pay them much respect and don’t regard them as any more difficult than roses.
    My first plant collection when I was a child, was of these plants. They numbered almost a 100 I believe, with some unusual ones in it. The old nurserymen were very supportive of my passion…. sadly those times of nurseries growing their own plants is mostly defunct. Gosh, I remember when seedlings were sold wrapped in rolls of dampened newspaper.

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    1. Thank you, Otto.

      I’ve got several nice images of different Cacti. Part of this is because I had a Macro lens back in the early days and due to the raised beds bringing the plants up to waist height, managed to get up quite close without having to bend over. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne has a very good cacti and succulent collection too.

      I didn’t know much about shutter speed back in those days 2010,11 & 2012 and didn’t realise I could have achieved better flower photography, in general, by merely increasing the shutter speed to capture flowers waving in the wind.

      Shame I live so far away from the RBG now. The new construction of the underground rail line through the city, makes it even harder/longer to get to these magnificent gardens……. (or even bayside beaches). Supposed to be finished in 2019. They’ve changed many bus routes which is my preferred form of public transport. Even Melbourne Zoo is only about 4 kilometres (or 2 1/2 miles) away from my current home, but I don’t live near a main road going over the river 🙂

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  6. GREAT POST! Well, as you know, I am a big fan of cacti. If you don’t know the name of your cactus, or even have an idea, naming some of them will prove exhausting. There a few good websites I use for ID such as Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) and

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    1. Thanks Lonnie, and thank you for the 2 website names for identifying cacti too.

      After spending much time last week ‘surfing’ specialist cacti & succulent nurseries/suppliers online (which only exacerbated my headaches), I decided to finally buy my own cacti guide book. I already had searched city bookstores to no avail earlier in the year, so ordered what seemed to be the best illustrated guide book I could find online this past week – should arrive in the mail soon. With over 400 cacti & succulents and 800 photos, (I’m a visual person so need those photos), I’m hoping this inexpensive guide will provide some quick answers (even leading to botanical names that might give me further clues).

      I will check out Knowing what a wonderful researcher you are, determined to get the correct (and latest) botanical names, I’m sure it will be helpful. I know you, like me, have found some of these name changes confusing. I also find, some of the common names vary from country to country.

      I have to admit with headaches and neck pain 24/7, I’m trying to keep off the computer as much as possible nowadays, hence the desire to (finally) get a guide book on my own shelf.

      One of the photos I wanted to post this week had no plant name and by sheer co-incidence, it was featured on my favourite TV show last night – “Gardening Australia”. I managed to quickly write down the common name, but didn’t catch the Botanical name on the screen, but hopefully I can now find it in Google images (or your suggested cacti website).

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