Mammillaria saboae ssp. saboae
It will form mats of very small stems and is the tiniest plant of
a group of related subspecies .
Characteristics): Mammillaria saboae is a low
clustering, mat-forming geophyte succulent.
Stem: Tiny, round to ovoid,
soft-bodied, 10-20 mm in diameter, 10-40 mm tall. axils bare, without
Roots: Fleshy branching.
Radial spine: 18 - 27, glassy white with a yellow base, thin, a
little curved, 2 to 6 mm long.
Central spine: Absent or occasionally 1 , straight to 2 mm long.
Flowers: Large 4-6,5 cm in diameter,
funnel-shaped, dark lilac-pink to pinkish magenta, larger and deeper
coloured than the type, stigmas yellowish.
Fruit: The fruits mature inside the plant and remain for years
sunken into the stems, as in the type.
The subspecies 'saboae' grows in clumps
and has 17-25 radial spines per areole. The flowers are about 4-5 cm
The subspecies 'goldii' grows only
solitary stems and has 34-45 radial spines per areole. The flowers are
about 4-5 cm across.
The subspecies 'haudeana' grows larger
than the former two subspecies, up to 4 cm
high, about twice the size of the type,.and
grows in clumps. It has 18-27 radial spines
per areole, and large flowers 5-6 cm
The subspecies 'roczekii' stem larger,
usually solitary (or rarely clustering from
the base) with large flowers and yellow stamens. It comes from
M. saboae produces very showy pink flowers larger than the plant itself.
Mammillaria saboae ssp haudeana
In: Cact. Suc. Mex. 11: 55. 1966
Distribution: Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico. Altitude
2.100 to 2.200 mtr.
Habitat: Grows on volcanic slabs of rock. In habitat, the plants
contract considerably during the dry season, sometimes pulling down
completely under the soil. Their flowers can push up through the dirt.
Clustering in cultivation and easily flowered it is not really easy. It
has a thick
tuberous root system and
and it's especially
prone to rot.
underpot in a shallow pot with good
drainage, filled with a very open mineral-based potting mix, and only
use the smallest diameter pot that will accommodate the plant. . Plants
need to be kept dry in winter. Feed with a high
potassium fertilizer in summer.
Can be sunburned if moved from shade/greenhouse into full sun too
quickly. During the spring it may be able to take full sun until the
heat arrives at the end of spring. In an area that has hot afternoon
sun, it may be able to take full morning sun, but requires afternoon
shade or afternoon light shade.
If grown correctly, it will reward the grower with generous
displays of huge pink-violet flowers.
Initially this species appears easy to cultivate, but the grower should
not be surprised if clumps suddenly dry up, especially in the winter
season. Hardy to -5°C. Very sensitive to red spider mite.
Overhead watering is helpful in controlling mites.
division off larger clumps or graft. Seeds can be sown in the
spring or summer. The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are
well rooted, after which they can be planted
separately in small pots. To make cuttings wait
offsets that appear at the
base of old clustered
are 1/3 the size of the parent and then detach and plant.
Photo of conspecific
taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants
belonging to the Mammillaria saboae