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Mammillaria pseudoalamensis (= M. alamensis)
(Syn: Mammillaria sheldonii)

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Mammillaria pseudoalamensis (= M. alamensis)
Now often considered a synonym of  Mammillaria sheldonii, to which it shows only modest differences: absence of central spines and  larger flowers with a characteristic distinctive orange pistil.
 

   

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Mammillaria pseudoalamensis Backeb.

Scientific name:  Mammillaria sheldonii (Britton & Rose) Boed.

First description: by Britton & Rose, The Cact. 4: 156 (1923).
 
Origin:  Sonora and Chihuahua.

Conservation status:  Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Synonyms:

  • Mammillaria alamensis R.T.Craig

Description: Mammillaria sheldonii is undoubtedly a variable species, which has given rise to several names now ascribed to synonymy.
The M. pseudoalamensis (= M. alamensis) is nothing else than a variant recognisable for the absence of central spines, and larger flowers with a characteristic distinctive orange pistil.
Habit:  It makes a cluster of basal stems.
Stem: spherical to slender-cylindrical, dull green, often becoming reddish, 3-6 cm wide, 8-15 cm tall (or more in cultivation)
Tubercles: Cylindrical four-sided basally, carinate, without latex, axils without wool but with an occasional few bristles. Tubercule arrangement: 8 - 13
Radial spines: The number of radial spines varies from as low as 9 (M. alamensis) to as many as 24, white, tipped brown, needle-like, about 6 to 8 mm long.
Central spines: 1 to 4 ( 0 in M. alamensis), the lower one elongated and either straight or hooked, 1 to 15.cm long, brownish, the upper part dark blackish brown.
Flowers: Large, wide funnel-form, diurnal, inodorous, light purplish-pink with a pinkish brown midstripe and paler margins, about 20 cm in diameter (up to 3,5 in M. alamensis). Stigmas are green (Orange in M. pseudoalamensis)
Blooming season (Europe): Spring, and flowers remain open for about three or four days.
Fruit: Club shaped, pale scarlet 25-30 mm long.
Seed: black.
 

 



 

Cultivation: This plant blooms easily and needs lots of light. Use a pot with good drainage and a very porous mineral-based potting mix. Potted plants are quite wet-sensitive, especially in light of its small root system. Water sparingly during the growing season, let soil dry in between to prevent root rot, keep very dry in winter.  Feed with a high potassium fertilizer  in summer.
Usually it is recommended to over
-winter this plant in a bright and warm greenhouse with at least 8-10 C , but it has proven to be quite frost resistant (if kept dry it is hardy as low as -7 C).  A resting period in winter and strong light are necessary so that it can flower properly.  Plants will offset readily, and dense clumps can be produced in a very few years.

Propagation: Through seeds and cuttings.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Mammillaria sheldonii complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms ( like many other cacti), with several controversial varieties and subspecies, and comprises a multitude of different forms, but where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics):

 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery MAMMILLARIA

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art files are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.