Mammillaria of the Month

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Mammillaria mazatlanensis

Photo: Plant in Cultivation: Copyright of Chris Davies 2009

Mammillaria mazatlanensis is another of the hook spined species in the Ancistracanthae series and comes from the western Mexican states from Sonora down to Michoacan.

It is a variable species, as many with such an extensive distribution are, and has been subdivided into a range of varietal names, such as occidentalis, patonii, and sinalensis. It's spination varies, with some more northern forms looking closer to Mammillaria sheldonii than the more southern forms.

It clusters strongly, having slender stems up to 15cm in cultivation at least, and 12 to 18 white radial spines, set off by the central spines, from 1 to 4, sometimes straight and sometimes hooked. It has larger flowers than some allied species of a real strong pinky purple, though some forms tend towards carmine.

In cultivation is is perhaps less demanding than some of its relatives, and should soon form a sizeable clump which flowers each year. Of course, an open compost is needed, and it enjoys a good watering if it can drain when the weather is hot.