Mammillaria of the Month

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M. scheinvariana

Picture courtesy of, permission from Hugo de Cock

M. scheinvariana R. Ortega-Varela & Glass

Body: Plants solitary or sparingly clustering. Stems subglobose, about 5 cm in diameter, 2 - 3.5 cm high, areoles white woolly.

Axils: With fine white hairs.

Radial spines: 20 - 24, to 20 mm long, white, soft, smooth, hair-like, ascending.

Central spines: 1, straight, about 16 mm long, porrect, pale yellowish tan to pale reddish yellow, darker towards tip.

Flower: Funnelform, nearly 2 cm long, about 1 m wide, with palest pinkish white to white margins and tapering faint pink midstripe, filaments bright lavender, anthers whitish.

Fruit: Dark cherry red.

Seed: Shiny black.

Geographic Distribution: Queretaro and Hidalgo, Mexico, in the area now occupied by the Zimapan Dam. Not known to occur elsewhere, and therefore possibly extinct in the wild.

This species was first described in 1997 and was saved from the rising waters of the Zimapan Dam. Its' position within the Stylothelae has been uncertain, with it having been described both as a good species and as a subspecies of Mammillaria crinita.
There is also a hook spined plant that is sometimes also assigned to this species name, which is more robust and less obviously soft radial spines. It is believed that this plant is a natural hybrid with another form of Mammillaria crinitia.

Look out for a full article on this interesting member of the Stylothelae soon in our quarterly publication "The Journal of the Mammillaria Society"