What Just Came In The Mail?

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all doing well. We have had some cooler temperatures in my neck of the woods the past few days. While the cooler temps are a nice break from the heat, it means “you know what” is on the way. I know many people like fall, and for some, it is their favorite time of the year. For me, it means I will soon have to bring plants inside then the big ZAP will come. It actually got down to 44° Wednesday night (Thursday AM)! It also said it would be warmer the following days and evenings. While many plants are still OK, it will trigger dormacy in others. My bigger Amorphophallus already went dormant last week but the smaller plants are still alive and well. That’s weird. Why did the older plants go dormant and the smaller ones didn’t? Just another learning experience, huh?

A few days ago I went to get the mail and was surprised to find this little box. Hmmm… What could it be?


When I came back inside I opened it to have a look. Hmmm… What is that?


Ummm… Someone sent me a wad of toilet paper… It feels like something is inside.


I unwrapped it and found a surprise!


Looks like a ball of cotton with roots!


OK… Just kidding around a little. I had been browsing around a little on Ebay looking at the cactus and succulents and found this gem. I know, I know that isn’t a good thing sometimes. There are a lot of nice plants on Ebay and so many you don’t find locally.


I ran across a listing for this Mammillaria plumosa also known as Feather Cactus. It was definitely something I have not seen at Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, or the local greenhouses. It reminds me of a very hairy Thimble Cactus (Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis).


Well, the seller did say he was sending a pot. This is just a teaser pot that attaches to other pots for form a stack of pots he has available. I am sure many people go ahead and buy more pots, but I think I will pass. I suppose it is a good idea and it would save space.


There are several plants in this cluster but it is impossible to tell how many with all the wool. VERY NEAT for sure. Who could pass up such an AWESOME find? A single specimen could take a couple of years to offset.

The name Feather Cactus comes from 40 or so interlacing radial spines that are kind of arranges like fathers. This furnishes protection against the hot desert sun. It has no central spines.


I can only imagine finding a plant like this in the desert in Mexico. It would look like a pile of snow, Maybe this species lives where it cooler and grew its own blanket.

Its status in its natural habit is listed as “near threatened” by the IUCN Red List. Llifle said it grows on limestone cliffs in sparse xerophytic shrubland and there is a continuing decline due to ongoing plant collecting. Apparently, the species is illegally collected for the ornamental trade. Locals collect the plant from the wild and sell them at local markets at Christmas time as they are used to decorate nativity scenes.

Well, it is getting late so I better warp up this post. Until next time, stay well, be safe. eat your vegetables, drink plenty of fluids and give your “other half” a big hug if you have one… Don’t forget to get dirty if you have a chance.

10 comments on “What Just Came In The Mail?

  1. Frank Samson-b says:

    Wow!! NICE score!! We must have a psychic connection!! I just went out to check on mine on Thursday afternoon (9.27.18). But, unfortunately, my visit turned out to be somewhat of a funeral. It was a fair-sized, little clump growing in a 6-inch, low-profile pot for the past 2 years. But, recently it was looking a little odd… like it was starting to flatten out from its once-mounded appearance. I went closer for a better look, and discovered that beneath the soft plumes, all that remained were the tubercles! WTF!! The bodies of every single plant in the colony were reduced to layered films of dried tissue along with web-like tufts and masses of tiny, grains of “sand”.

    Upon seeing this, I knew what had happened…. Looper moths. Those pesky, little brown moths attack EVERYTHING in Southern California!!! You name it… our apples, avocados, bougainvilleas, cabbage, oaks, and my succulents, too!! Those punks sneak up under the newer leaves of trees or attack smaller vegetables or ornamental plants at ground level and lay eggs on the fleshy stems so that once they hatch, the caterpillars can gnaw little tunnels and spin their silken threads to form protective tents. Yep, all the visual cues pointed straight to them. Darn it!!

    Luckily, most of the tubercles were left, predominantly, intact because from those morsels of plant tissue, I can grow new cactus plants. I hope yours doesn’t suffer a similar fate. I don’t know how prevalent looper moths are in your neck of the woods. But, I hope and pray for you that they aren’t. Loopers are no fun…AT ALL!!!

    I can email you some photos, if you’re at all curious about the damage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Frank! What a story! I have never heard of such a fate before. I think we have Looper’s here but maybe not the same species that would attack cactus. Who knows what they may do if they don’t have brassicas to attack. That’s good you can grow new plants from the tubercles. That in itself would be a miracle. Thanks for the comment, and I would like to see the photos.


  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Wow, this is a very interesting plant. I can’t wait to see how it grows.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margo says:

    What a cool cactus! (I, too, am guilty of ordering plants from eBay.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bittster says:

    What a nice little package 🙂
    -and now I have a name for the little treasure a friend gave me years ago! I think it’s the same plant, just a little bigger because now that I think on it the plant might be close to ten years old. In the winter after it comes inside pale straw colored flowers pop up out of the cotton. I’ll try and get a picture for you this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very cool! I thought it was cotton at first.


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