Mammillaria of the Month

(click here for previous Mamms of the Month)

Mammillaria polythele


Mammillaria polythele is a species from Hidalgo, Guanajuato and Queretaro, to which many names have been given to its many forms. The photo above is of a plant, acquired as Mammillaria tetracantha,  clearly showing its 4 central spines. This form has lighter coloured spines than many forms, all of which have relatively strong centrals, and very rudimentary radial spines if any at all.

Eventually the plant will grow columnar, to about 25cm in height, at which time it might start to lean, or in extreme cases, topple, as is not uncommon with some of the species in the Heterochloarae.

Over the next few months, we will look at various forms of Mammillaria polythele, and especially the forms which are recognised as being distinctive, if not given full subspecies status. There are three accepted (Hunt Classification) subspecies, ssp. polythele, ssp. durispina, and ssp. obconella. There are many other names as mentioned previously, including M. crocidata, hidalgensis, hoffmanniana, ingens, kewensis, kelleriana, neophaeacantha, M. tetracantha, M. xochipilli,  amongst others.