Mammillaria pennispinosa is an
exquisite spined miniature though difficult to keep growing in
cultivation, it is immediately recognisable by its beautiful white,
feathery spines and is surely one of the more popular of the genus.
Characteristics): Plants, at first solitary, will form clusters
to 7cm wide in the course of time.
Stems: Globular, 3 - 4 cm high and in diameter.
Roots: Tick taproots.
Sap: Without lacteal juice.
Tubercle: Flabby, cylindrical,
Axil: Woolly at first, later naked.
Central spine: 1 - 3, brownish red with yellow bases, covered with
white pubescence, 10 - 12 mm long, one hooked.
The additional central
spines (if present), are similar to the radial.
Radial spine: 16 - 20, featherlike, slender, straight, plumose,
grayish-white to yellow to orange to reddish, 5 - 8 long.
Flower: White with pink-carmine central veins, up
to 15 mm long and
Fruit: Red, 15 - 20 mm long.
Flowering season: Winter to spring, the flowers remain open for
five or six days, exceptionally more.
Cultivation: Very prone to root rot, it needs a very permeable open
potting soil, good drainage and a very careful application of water.
Additionally, water should not be applied from above, as the feathery
spines will retain water and add to rotting problems,
but in good conditions with
usually grows without particular difficulty.
If we succeed in growing a colony of more than
10 stems, then the results will repay all the growing efforts. Full light,
short of direct sun, and high temperatures are helpful, and needed to
achieve success in
last frost, or use
cuttings (if available).
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants
belonging to the
has lots of synonyms (
like many other cacti) whit
several controversial varieties and subspecies and comprises a
multitude of different forms):
Mammillaria pennispinosa Krainz
First description by Krainz, Cact. Journ. Brit. X. 18
(1948), sine descr. lat.; Krainz in Sukkulentenk.:Jahrb. Schweiz.
Kakt.-Ges. II. 20. 1948
Distribution: Southwest Coahuila and Durango (between Bermejillo
and Mapimi) Mexico. Altitude.
Field collection numbers: Gl. & F 784; Lau 1445; ML 632; Rep. 1205;
SB 1061; WM 890, 2550, 3550.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Habitat: It grows at 1.200 - 1.350 m of altitude, where it is
(Krainz) Buxbaum 1951
Mammillaria mercadensis Patoni
In: Boletin, Alianza Cientifica Universal, Durango
1: 54. 1910
Mammillaria pennispinosa PM 481 Puente Vinagrillos , Durango, Mexico