Scientific name: Mammillaria
First description by Martius, Nova Acta Acad. Caes.
Leop. Carol. German Nat. Cur. 16: 340, t. 27 (1832)
Origin: Endemic to a small region in Central Mexico
(at the border of the states of Puebla and Oaxaca)
Habitat: Grows on cliff edges
clinging in clefts and crevasses in the rock often in mostly pure
gypsum. Altitude 800 to 950 m.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
- Cactus crucigerus (Mart.) Kuntze
in: Rev.Gen. Pl. 1:260. 18911891
- Mammillaria discolor var. curvispina
- Mammillaria crucigera var. grandinosa Linzen, Rogoz
& Frank Wolf 1998
- Mammillaria crucigera subsp. tlalocii
(Reppenhagen) D. R. Hunt 1997
- Mammillaria crucigera var. tlalocii (Repp.) Linzen,
Rogoz & Frank Wolf 1998
- Mammillaria tlalocii Reppenhagen
Published in: Gattung Mammillaria 1988: 120 (1989)
- Mammillaria curvispina
- Cactus curvispinus
- Mammillaria buchenaui Backeberg ex Mottram 1980
- Mammillaria falsicrucigera Backeberg 1962
Description: Globular very slow
growing cactus with small spines, solitary or clumping almost always
forking dichotomously at maturity.
Stems: Heads flattened globose to short cylindrical,
curving pipe-shaped,, up to 10 cm tall and 4 - 6 cm in diameter,
ranging from olive green to grey-green to almost brown to almost purple.
Tubercles: Closely set, firm, not sharply angled, keeled with
their axils full of white wool, Some latex is present in the growing
Radial spine: 22 - 30, finely needle-like or bristly,
glassy white, to 2 mm long.
Central spine: 4 (-5), yellowish or brown, rigid, to 2 mm long.
Flower: Small , funnelform,up to 1.2 cm, deep pink, rarely rising
above the spines.
Blooming season: Flowers in late winter, early spring.
Fruit: Pink to red.
Seed: Small, brown.
M. crucigera ssp crucigera divides dichotomously and also
offsets lower on the plant body.
M. crucigera ssp tlalocii forms simple columns (usually)
without dividing or offsetting.
Cultivation: It is an extremely slow growing species
(hence the rarity and high prices in the trade).
Use pot with good drainage and a very porous
mineral-based potting mix, keep dry in
winter. Pot plants are quite
wet-sensitively. Care must be taken with watering (Rot prone)
and needs good
drainage. Water sparingly
growing season, keep very dry in
with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Usually it is recommended to
overwinter this plant in a bright and warm greenhouse with at least
8-10° C , but it proved to be quite
(if kept dry it hardy as low as -5° C)Outside
full sun or afternoon shade, inside needs bright light, and some direct
Some plants will offset readily, and clumps can be produced in a very
Propagation: Direct sow after
of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Mammillaria
Taxon has lots of synonyms whit
several controversial varieties and subspecies):