Main activities of the Society

1 - Meetings are held every first Sunday of the month at 9.45 a.m. at the Hall of the Capuchin monks, F.S Fenech street, Floriana. Near the Polyclinic.

2 - A lending library of books dealing with the hobby is at the disposal of society's members during monthly meeting.

3 - An annual exhibition is organized at the end of October.

4 - Every other year the society hosts a foreign speaker to present the members with two lectures.

5 - Seeds are collected yearly from members which are then sold to those who would like to raise cacti or other succulents from seeds.

6 - A journal is printed yearly, which is given free to all members.

7 - A monthly Newsletter is sent to all members.

Anyone (especially those from the Maltese society) can send pictures of cacti and the other succulents or submit any article/s for this site. Please send any pictures or articles to The society will post all pictures and writings, as long as they are of no offensive nature.

René Zahra


Planned activities

Sunday 5th January, The Cactus Of Mexico, My fifth visit (12th lecture)
Venue: Cappuchin monks Hall Floriana, Near Floriana Polyclinic.
Speaker: Amante Darmanin
Time 9.45

Monday, April 20, 2009

A touch of colour

Top picture: This cactus bears the name of Parodia cafayatensis but is clearly a form of Parodia microsperma. The name microsperma denotes small seeds. Seed size compares with Blossfeldia or Aztekium.

Distibution: From Argentina; Caramarca, Santiago del Estero, Salta, Tucuman.

Bottom picture: Mammillaria herrerae comes from the Mexican State of Queretaro, from near Cadereyta and Vista Hermosa.

It is not an easy plant to grow as Mammillaria goes. Such plants are often found grafted in cultivation. In Malta it is more easier than continental Europe due to warmer climate.

Pictures submitted by Amante Darmanin

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April flowers continued

Top picture: Neoporteria senilis ssp. coimasensis. This subspecies comes from Valparaiso, Chile. The Genus Neoporteria has been dumped in the Genus Eriosyce, a Genus that previously contained about four species.

Bottom picture: Mila caespitosa comes from near Santa Clara, Lima, Peru. In fact the Genus name Mila is an Anagram of Lima. According to some authorities there is only one species that is very variable and hence more widespread than the type locality mentioned above, while others recognise four species.

It is quite small and branches from the base resembling the North Americaan Echinocereus in growth habit.

Both pictures supplied by Amante Darmanin

Monday, April 13, 2009

April flowers continued

Top picture:
Turbinicarpus pseudomacrochele
has flowers that range from white to nearly magenta. It is a very small species as are all Turbinicarpus sensu stricto. It is not difficult to grow in cultivation. In habitat it has been recorded from near Bernal, Queretaro, near Cadereyta also in Queretaro and between Ixmiquilpan and Pachuca in the state of Hidalgo.

Bottom picture: Mammillaria candida is very widespread in its habitat, in the central Mexican platau (from San Luis Potosi, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas). Yet, plants are rarely found in large numbers in each individual locality.

They differ from completly white spined plants to pink tipped spines to pink spine rings alternate with white. Some can be found solitary while others have a clumping habit.

Seeds are smooth (finely caniculate) which are different from other Mammillaria species. At one time there was attempts to place this plant in a Genus of its own, Mammilloydia, but recent trends are in favour of keeping it under Mammillaria. Easy to grow in cultivation.

Both pictures submitted by Amante Darmanin

Friday, April 10, 2009

April flowers

Top: Echinocereus pulchellus v. sharpii is one of the few Echinocereus having white flowers or very pale pink as is in this picture. It remains small both in habitat and cultivation.

It is very rare in habitat. Mexico, Nuevo Leon, Near San Roberto.

Bottom: The locality of Mammillaria sheinvariana has been destroyed by the building of a dam. In cultivation it offsets profusely producing a sizable clump in a few years. Mexico, Queretaro, Mesa de Leon.

Pictures submitted by Amante Darmanin

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mammillaria humboldtii

This gem of a cactus is found in the Mexican State of Hidalgo. There are several forms in cultivation. The one shown here has an unkempt appearance to its spines while others are more neat. It is not very difficult to cultivate in Malta, as long as it is kept in a sheltered place and watered sparsely in the growing season only.

Picture supplied by Amante Darmanin

A few flowers

Top picture shows Turbinicarpus alonsoi. It caused a furor in the cactus world,when it was discovered in 1996 by Glass and Arias, because of its striking flowers and its resemblance to an Ariocarpus.

T. alonsoi contains several alkaloids , among them pellotine which causes convulsions.

Bottom picture shows Gymnocactus subteraneus v. zaragosae. In its native habitat this species grows among tall grass. Through evolution it has grown a tall neck to enable it to compete for sunlight.

Pictures submitted my Amante Darmanin