Mammillaria of the
for previous Mamms of the Month)
Mammillaria compressa ssp. compressa
Mammillaria compressa ssp. compressa Repp. 790 (bernalensis), in cultivation. Copyright Chris
Mammillaria compressa is a well known species, although it is often
mistaken for Mammillaria magnimamma. Both species are widely
distributed from the states of Hidalgo northwards to Tamaulipas, and
westwards to Queretaro. The species itself is really only found in
Hidalgo and Queretaro, and a subspecies, ssp. centralifera, will
feature next month.
It is a variable species, and one that
readily offsets and grows steadily, filling in time as large a pot or
pan as you might like to put it in. The spines vary in length, usually
chalky white with brown tips, mostly centrallplaced, 4 to 6 in number
typically, the lower being the longer. It often has bristles from
the axil, which is sometimes the only distinguishing feature between it
and Mammillaria magnimamma.
It flowers quite readily, and bright
purple-pink rings around each head make this species a beautiful one at
flowering time, which is usually May to June.
plant in the
photo is one that was originally named as Mammillaria bernalensis, long
since subsumed into Mammillaria compressa., and which I won at my very
first Mammillaria Society Annual meeting in a raffle. Those were the
days when 30-40 people came to Anual Meetings (HINT!!).
The photo below clearly shows the axillary bristles, as said before, a key distinguishing characteristic of this species.