Mammillaria of the Month
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Mammillaria crinita fma. (M. tezontle)
Mammillaria tezontle Photo: copyright Chris Davies
This form of Mammillaria crinita was first described by W. Fitz-Maurice in the Journal of the Mexican Cactus and |Succulent Society in 1995, making it a fairly recent discovery. It has, however, owing to its ease of propagation and its magnificent flowering ability, foun its way into many collections.
Hunt has been subsumed it into the broader definition of Mammillaria crinita , but is nevertheless a distinctive member with its rather neat, short, yellow central spination and relatively large flowers.
It is a clustering plant, with flattened globose stems, dark green, sunken apically, 10mm high and 15 - 20 mm in diameter. It has thick fibrous roots, and it has clear sap. The axils have some wool. It has 14 - 20 radial spines, yellowish white, pubescent, 3 - 5 mm long. It has 1 - 4 central spines,one or more hooked, also yellowish white and pubescent, 3 to 5mm long. The flowers are funnelform, yellowish white, 10 mm long and 15 mm in diameter.The fruit is green, and the seed blackish brown.
As is perhaps obvious the taxonomy of this plant is disputed, with the Fitz-Maurices firmly believing that this plant deserves a specific name.