Monday, July 16, 2012

Mammillaria elongata

Many years ago, Lynn-Marie and I were driving around Southern California - with the list of the California Cactus Growers Association in hand [no longer in existence] - trying to find nurseries which had plants we wanted. There were a lot of small, independent succulent nurseries back then. We'll always remember the one we went to that just knew we needed hundreds, if not thousands, of small Mammillaria elongata plants. We were novices, but not that novice. We already had our share. Which leads to an observation: This is one plant which doesn't really get the attention it deserves. It's easy to grow, easy to propagate, and has a lot of design possibilities. It's just that, since they're so easy to propagate, no nursery is going to make its fortune growing them. (Actually, not many nurseries are going to make a fortune any way!)
As we were leaving that nursery, which had several commercial greenhouse filled with these little thimbles. the owner offered us another deal which we certainly wished we could have taken him up on. He offered us several very large, mature Golden Barrel cacti at an extremely enticing price. But imagine this: a young married couple (now that was a long time ago, wasn't it?), a couple of medium sized dogs, luggage, boxes of plants, in a VW bus. Now add two large Echinocactus to the top of the roof. That was a bit much, even for us in those days.
Enjoy your plants!

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