Species Notes:M. carnea is a species with highly variable spination. Even adjacent plants may exhibit vastly different spine lengths. This is illustrated in the habitat photos below. Note also that plants in cultivation likewise differ from those in habitat. As a result, care must be taken to properly identify this species especially in contrast to similar-looking species such as M. compressa and M. mystax. A major difference is that plants of M. carnea do not have radial spines, but rather four central spines arranged in a cross pattern. In most cases the lower spine is notably longer than the other three. The spines are a pinkish gray in color with black tips and are slightly recurved – though this is hardly apparent on those with shorter spines.
Tubercles are triangular and angled. Axils are wooly and areoles are mostly bare. The flowers are white, pink, or yellow and later give rise to stout red fruits.
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