Description: Columnar plants, usually solitary but
they can form pups on
old plants. M. spinosissima is very variable due to its wide area of
origin in Mexico. The color of the spines vary from red or rust to
white. The “rubrispina” selection forms nice clumps of columns, densely spined with bright coppery red spines.
Stem: Cylindrical, dark blue-green, rarely exceeding 30 cm in
height, 6 - 7 (10 cm) cm in diameter. Without latex.
Parastichy: 13 - 21
Tubercles: Ovate conical, four-sided basally. The axil is slightly woolly.
Radial spines: 20 - 25, white, bristle-like, 4 - 6 mm long.
Central spines: 12 - 15, copper-red, stronger than the radials and
thicker at the base, straight, 10 - 12 mm long.
Flowers: Vivid purple/ red to deep pink, 12 mm long and in
diameter, encircling the columnar stems.
Blooming season: Late winter and spring,
Fruits: Purplish red or greenish.
Remarks: The Mammillaria
spinosissima “rubrispina” also known as the "Red-headed
Irishman" has very attractive copper/red coloured spines and is one
of the most beautiful Mammillarias.
subspecies, varieties and forms:
Cultivation: Its qualities and ease of cultivation justify that it
is an old favorite. It doesn't requires any special treatment, but needs as
much light as possible (without burning the plant) to encourage the
heaviest spine formation. Regular water in summer, dry in winter. Frost
tolerance: -4° C.
Propagation: Seeds or
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of