Mammillaria tetrancistra 117 (IMG_2211)
Mammillaria tetrancistra is a common cactus in the Mojave Desert region. This plant was growing near the base of the Spring Mountains near Jean, Nevada. The plants in this area are small and inconspicuous during the hottest part of the year. When they grow in sandy locations they may hide underground, when they grow on limestone they escape from the harsh conditions by growing in deep limestone cracks. During the wet season the plants swell with water and soon flower; hiding no longer. When I found these plants the flowers were larger in diameter than the stems. The black central spine of many mammillarias, including this one, form a typical fish hook shape, leading to the common name: ‘fish hook cactus’.