Mammillaria huitzilopochtli L066 Tecomavaca, Oaxaca,
It will form pretty ring of beautiful pinkish red flowers at Xmas
followed by a crown of little red fruit in May.
Description: Solitary or slowly clumping in untidy clumps, up to 8
cm tall, 6 cm wide.
Stems: Dark green, at first
spherical, later cylindric or club shaped, 8-15 cm high, 6-8 cm in
diameter, apex slightly depressed.
Tubercles: compressed on the sides, cylindrical to conical.
Axil: With dense white wool in the flowering area.
Radial spine: 15 to 30, dense, pectinated, held close to stem,
glassy white, brown at base, up to 1.5-3,5 mm long, straight or slightly
Central spine: Generally absent
or sometime 1 erect fine acicular or awl-shaped, thicker at the
base. Most of the clones have short, light grey spines 4-10 mm long.
Occasionally, they have longer brown
or black central spines (Up to 20 mm long).
Flower: Produces rings of bright
pink to carmine, 12-15 mm long, 7-10 mm wide, often not opening widely.
Fruit: Red club-shaped to cylyndrical up to 15 mm long
(frequently seedless in cultivation).
Blooming season (Europe): Winter (from November to March)
Seed: Brown, very small.
The differences between the subspecies are:
-- ssp. huitzilopochtli; has 0-1 central spines and up to 30
-- ssp. niduliformis; has 2-4 central spines and up to 22 radial
spines per areole.
Scientific name: Mammillaria
huitzilopochtli D.R. Hunt
Published in: Cact. Succ. J. (GB) 41(4): 106 (1979)
Origin: Mexico (Oaxaca, Puebla).
Altitude 500 - 2.600 m.
Habitat and ecology: It
is an obbligate
saxicole that grows on vertical cliffs. Due to their verticality,
cliffs avoid sunlight at noon, providing a cool refuge during the
hottest hours of the day. Living on the cliff may be costly because
radiation is reduced but on steeper slopes plants find refreshment when
the climate is hot. This may contribute to explain why cliff-dwellers
have evolved in so many succulent-plant families.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
This is a beautiful plant with short starry clusters of spines.
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 overwater (Rot prone)
Use pot with good drainage and a very porous
potting media, keep dry in winter.
Feed 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 needs bright light, and some
direct sun. Easily flowering. Most
plants will offset readily, and clumps can be produced in a few years.
Propagation: Division, direct sow after last
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Mammillaria huitzilopochtli.