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  Mammillaria pectinifera
(Syn: Solisia pectinata)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Mammillaria pectinifera

Description: This small cactus appears above the ground as a squat, spherical stem, centrally depressed, completely covered by flattened spines, and usually solitary. In cultivation the plant's stem may be  cylindrical, and it will eventually produce clustering off-shoots with age.
Stem: 3-5 cm in diameter. With latex.
Spines: 20-40, pectinate (comb-like), flattened against the body, fine, numerous, white, 1.5 - 2 mm long. Lacking central spines.
Flowers: medium-sized in a ring around the sides of the globe, white to pink with darker mid-strip, 20-30 mm long and also in diameter. Stigmas are green.
 


Pink flowering form


White flowering form


A nice clumped specimen.


Photo and © copyright by Andrea B. (Bologna, Italy)


Cultivation: Slow growing, this plant is very rot prone and temperamental when cultivated on its own roots, but it is easy to grow if grafted. Mammillaria pectinifera  has a fairly large tap root, and should be kept in a deep pot with a very draining mineral substrate. Watering during the active growing season (spring and summer),  this will encourage steady growth. But be careful with watering, which all thick rooted species require (rot sensitive). Keep dry during the winter rest.
Fertilize every 2 weeks with diluted high potassium fertilizer when the plant is in bud. Light shade or full sun exposures.

Propagation: Direct sow after last frost. (seldom produces offsets)
 


 


Photo and © copyright by Mladen Turcinovic (Croatia)


The characteristic  pectinate and innocuous spines.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Mammillaria pectinifera F.A.C. Weber 898
in:
(Bois) Dictionaire d'Horticulture 2: 804. 1898.  {Dict. Hort. }

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix I. The species is classified as endangered because of habitat destruction, grazing of livestock, mining rock for construction, and dumping of rubbish. Actually the illegal extraction and trade of the plant doesn't seem to be a real threat, because artificial propagation is not a problem today, and many nurseries produce the species.

Taxonomy: Subgenus: Mammillaria, Section: Hydrochylus, Series: Pectiniferae, Group: Pectinifera.

Synonyms:

  • Pelecyphora pectinata, B.A.Stein 1885
  • Solisia pectinata (Stein) Britton & Rose 1923
  • Pelecyphora aselliformis pectinifera Rumpler 1885
  • Pelecyphora aselliformis pectinata Nicholson 1888
  • Pelecyphora aselliformis cristata Watson 1899

Origin:   Endemic to a few low density localities of the biosphere reserve in the Tehuacán valley,  north-western Oaxaca, in southern tropical Mexico, This is an ecological island of extraordinary diversity, rich in xerophytic species of plants restricted to just this valley, of which 30 percent are endemic. (among cactus: Ferocactus ingens, Ferocactus recurvus, F. robustus, Coryphantha pallida ,M. pectinifera and M. napina etc. )

Habitat: Grows in the Tehuacán Valley Matorral, a desert/xeric tropical shrub basin, under bushes and other vegetation, on deep alkaline soils with relatively high surface stoniness and high water retention capacity.
The climate is semi-dry, hot, with summer rains and slight temperature oscillations.

 


 

 



Mammillaria pectinifera SB530 nw Tehuacan, Pue.
 


Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Mammillaria pectinifera:

 

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery MAMMILLARIA 



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti