Scientific name: Mammillaria carmenae
First description: Casteņeda & Nuņez 1953
Published in: A. Inst. Biol. Mex. 24(2): 233 (1953)
Origin: Tamaulipas, Mexico. It was originally found by Marcelino
Castaņeda in 1953 near the La Reja ranch, but it was soon lost in
cultivation after its description until 1977, when it was
rediscovered by Alfred Lau.
Habitat: Grows in crevices in north-facing rocks.
Altitude 850 to 1.900
m. The Mammillaria carmenae is in danger of extinction in the wild.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Common Names include:
Etymology: Named after Prof. CARMEN
GONZALES-CASTANEDA, the second wife of Marcelino Castaneda - author of the description of species and of the
carmenae is a solitary or clustering globular cactus.
Stems: Globose to ovoid, 4 - 10 cm high, 3 - 5 cm in diameter. Without
Axil: Woolly and bristly.
Radial spine: More than 100, soft, fine, flexible, star-like, white or
pale yellow (or gold), up to 5 mm long.
Central spine: There are no central spines.
Flower: Diurnal, (usually) creamy white to pink or pale pink with pink
tinged midribs, up to 11 mm long.
Blooming season (Europe): Plants blooms at the same time in late winter-early
spring, and are very generous with their flowers.
Mammillaria carmenae is one of the most
beautiful species, with creamy flowers blooming abundantly from late
winter to early spring.
This plant is nowadays available in different
spination colours, ranging from white to brownish-red.
Cultivation: It is a relatively rapid growing species. This is easily grown into clumps, but it does often have an irregular
pattern of offsetting. Water regularly in summer, but do not over-water
(rot prone). Use
a pot with good drainage and a very porous
Keep dry in winter.
with a high potassium fertilizer in summer. It is quite
frost resistant if kept dry, hardy as low as -5° C.
Outside full sun or afternoon shade, inside it
needs bright light, and some direct sun.
Easily clustering and easily flowered. Most
plants will offset readily, and clumps can be produced in a few years.
Propagation: By division,
or direct sow after last frost.
Photo of conspecific taxa,
varieties, forms and cultivars of Mammillaria carmenae: