The crested form - similarly to the normal plants - produces
cleistogamus flowers and
self pollinated fruits. The normal flowers
(seldom seen) will open only in great heat on the hottest, brightest, sunny
afternoon , if at all.
Description: The standard
F. mammifera is a well known miniature plant.
The crest form - despite to its beauty - is still very rare and sought
after by collectors, for it display of colours.
Stem: It is diminutive in sizelossy dark green and purple.
Ribs: With round and tapering tubercles.
Areoles: Placed in the upper side of the tubercles.
Central spines: 2-4, erect, golden to
brown, stout, 2-3 mm long.
Radial spines: 18-20, spreading, yellowish or whitish, thin,
1,5-2 mm long.
Roots: Fat central tap root.
Infundibuliform, larger than the plant itself, sulphur-yellow,
2,5 cm in diameter; tepals abruptly acuminate, long and slender,
stigma-lobes 5-7. But don't be disappointed when
the easily produced
buds fail to open. Fraileas are
cleistogamous, meaning that their flowers
produce seed without even opening. Without the need for
pollination, the buds rarely reach full
bloom and remain closed. They will open only in great heat in the
hottest, brightest, afternoon sun, if at all.
Fruits: Up to 8 mm in diameter. Dry,
indehiscent, that detaches
membranous, fragile that break easily,
releasing the seed.
Cultivation: Grow them in
rich, porous soil, and
let them dry out between waterings. These
plants need a minimum temperature of 5-10° C (but occasionally
temperatures of a few degrees below 0° are not dangerous)
enjoys full sun,
and it can take on a near
black appearance when kept in bright light. In a shaded position the
plants grow faster, but are not
flat shaped or dark
Characteristically, during the
dry season plants
retract completely under the ground, both in the
wild and in
With fresh harvested seeds or (rarely)