Frailea mammifera is tiny cactus with sulphur-yellow flowers
larger than the plant itself.
These fully developed
flowers are indeed quite rare,
and will open only in great heat or on the
hottest, brightest, sunny afternoon , if at all.
This species usually has
cleistogamus flowers that fail to open but produces fruit with
F. mammifera HU 345, North of Dom Pedrito, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Frailea mammifera A.F.H. Buining
& A.J. Brederoo, Kakteenkunde 50-51: CVIe, 1972
Distribution: The plant is found on north of Pedrito, Rio Grande
do Sul, Brazil
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES Appendix II
mammifera is a miniature plant,
usually solitary, or sometime basally branched.
Stem: It is diminutive in size, subglobose or eventually shortly
columnar, glossy dark green and purple, up to 3 cm
in height, 2-2,5 cm in
Ribs: About 17, with round and tapering tubercles.
Areoles: Placed in the upper side of the tubercles.
Central spines: 2-4, erect, golden to brown, stout, 2-3 mm long.
Radial spines: 18-20, spreading, yellowish or whitish, thin,
1,5-2 mm long.
Roots: Fat central tap root.
Infundibuliform, larger than the plant itself,
sulphur-yellow, 2,5 cm in diameter; tepals abruptly acuminate, long and
slender, stigma-lobes 5-7. But don't be disappointed when the easily
buds fail to open. Fraileas are
cleistogamous, meaning that their flowers produce seed without even
opening. Without the need for
pollination, the buds rarely reach full
bloom and remain closed. They will open only in great heat in the
hottest, brightest, afternoon sun, if at all.
Fruit: Up to 8 mm in diameter. Dry,
indehiscent, that detaches easily,
membranous, fragile that break easily, releasing the seed.
Süleyman Demir Turkey
Grow them in rich, porous soil, and let
them dry out between waterings.
These plants need a
minimum temperature of 5-10° C (but occasionally temperatures of a few
degrees below 0° are not dangerous) .
enjoys full sun,
and it can take on a near
black appearance when kept in bright light.
shaded position the plants grow faster, but are not
or dark coloured.
dry season plants
under the ground, both in the
wild and in
With fresh harvested seeds or (rarely)
Notes: This plant is short
living (It only lives about 10-15 years).
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Frailea mammifera.