They aren't supposed to do that!

Growth Forms of Mammillaria dixanthocentron

Mammillaria dixanthocentron Backeberg is described as columnar and simple, to 20cm tall and 8cm diameter (Backeberg 1963). Someone forgot to mention detail to the plant shown below! This deliciously spiny 10 year old was 25cm tall and 10cm diameter before it decided to go with a dichotomous lifestyle. The photo below shows the plant in 2005, 3 years after I noticed the split.

The photo below show the plant in 2002, not long after the split. You can see the "owl's eyes" effect in the dichotomously splitting stem, a feature common in some other Mammilliarias such as M parkinsonii.

And of course, they definitely aren't supposed to do this:

This plant is typical of its siblings. Germinated April 1994 from seed collected near Tres Picos, Oaxaca. Photo: April 2002 in a 12" pot.

Or this:

This photo shows a double headed specimen on a single root system. Because of the common root, the stems are shaped more like a light-bulb shaped than a column. The plant sacrificed one of the heads during summer 2002. Photo: December 2001 in a 8" pot.

This is a typical looking Mammillaria dixanthocentron of the "solitary, columnar" persuasion..

The photo below shows the dichotomously splitting specimen exhibiting meristem elongation in February 2002.

Close up of flowers, spines, and wool in December 2001.

Close up of areoles showing the golden spines and axillary wool. Note the strong, deflexed lower central and the uniformly spaced radials.



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