Mammillaria of the Month

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Mammillaria tesopacensis

Photo: Plant in Cultivation: M.tesopacensis                                                                                       Copyright: Chris Davies 2011


Mammillaria tesopacensis is an old name, from Craig's original handbook. It was found by Gentry near MOvas, about 15 miles north of Tesopaca, in the state of Sonora.

As is the case with a number of the plants collected by Gentry, and described by Craig, what we have in cultivation is often at odds with the description, albeit not in major ways.

In his "New Review of Mammillaria Names", Dr. David Hunt asks the question as to whether this plant can be separated from Mammillaria sonorensis, and in fact has consigned it in his classification, and in the "New Cactus Lexicon", to synonomy with that species.

Reppenhagen, however, maintained this as a good species in his classification,  and is very often found under that name in collections and in plant catalogues. It is distinctive, and when grown well, is a sizeable plant, up to 12cm tall and 16cm broad. Like many of the plants from this group, cultivation is not difficult, albeit seedlings take a while to establish themselves, and growth is better after the first couple of years. Flowers can be expected by the 4th or 5th year and form a nice ring around the plant.