Mammillaria of the Month

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Mammillaria zephyranthoides

Photo: Mammillaria zephyranthoides. Copyright of Chris Davies 2010



Photos: Habitat views near Presa de Allende, Guanajuato. Copyright: Chris Davies 2010



Mammillaria zephyranthoides is a beautiful member of the genus, although not easy to keep for long periods of time. It has a tap root that requires a rather open and free draining compost, and a light hand with the watering can.

It has a widespread distribution in Mexico, being found the the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Queretaro. It will form a small cluster in cultivation, though its normal growth form in habitat is solitary. Each head can grow to between 8 and 120cm, with 12 to 18 fine white spines and a solitary hooked spine, rather darker, yellow to mid brown. When it flowers, the plant is transformed, the flowers being white with a pinkish midstripe and larger than often is the case with this genus, up to 4cm in diameter.