Mammillaria tlalocii is an attractive and rewarding cactus with
dense white spines
The slow growth rate make
it one of the most sought-after species.
cactus, solitary or clumping dichotomously; usually this species don't
produces lateral shoots. But in cultivation are frequently seen plant that
branch profusely from the base.
Stem: Globose, later columnar, curving pipe-shaped, to 20 cm
long, 5 to 7 cm wide. The axil is white-wooled.
Radial spines: 16 to 22, glassy white, 1 to 2 mm long, the longer
Central spines: On the areoles at the apex of the plant, with age,
may appear a single longer brown-black central spine 6-10 mm long.
Flowers: Carmine-pink, 12 to 14 mm long, 8 to 10 mm wide.
Flowering time: Blooms in late winter, early spring.
Fruits: Carmine-pink small.
Seeds: Small, brown.
A very showy species with minute
white spines and purple flowers.
Forms rings of small carmine-pink flowers in spring.
Cultivation: It is a slow
growing species .
Use pot with good drainage and a very porous
mineral-based potting mix, keep dry in
winter. Pot plants are quite
wet-sensitively. Care must be taken with watering (Rot prone)
and needs good
drainage. Water sparingly
growing season, keep very dry in
with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Usually it is recommended to
overwinter this plant in a bright and warm greenhouse with at least
8-10° C , but it proved to be quite
(if kept dry it hardy as low as -5° C)Outside
full sun or afternoon shade, inside needs bright light, and some direct
Some plants will offset readily, and clumps can be produced in a very
Propagation: Direct sow after
An old specimen
Comment: This is one of the Mammillaria commonly called
"Owl Eye Cactus", known for
dichotomous branching (forking or dividing into two parts). Although
dichotomous branching is not a common occurrence in cacti in general, it
happens for some reason in this particular subspecies. What
is interesting about this cactus is that it began as a single head, and
it has now divided twice, forming what will be four separate branches.
When the division process started, it was obvious that four heads would
appear, but I don’t think the one head divided quadruply. Most probably,
one head became two, and then those two immediately divided.
Other Owl Eye Cactus among others comprise:
M. microthele and
Scientific name: Mammillaria
tlalocii Reppenhagen 1989
Published in: Gattung Mammillaria 1988: 120 (1989)
First description: by Reppenhagen, Gatt. Mamm. 120 (1987)
Origin: Mexico, (at the border of the states of Puebla and
Habitat: Altitude 800 to 1.000 m.
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
- Mammillaria crucigera subsp. tlalocii
(Reppenhagen) D. R. Hunt 1997
- Mammillaria buchenaui Backeberg
- Mammillaria crucigera var. tlalocii
(Reppenhagen) Linzen et al. 1998
- Mammillaria crucigera var. grandinosa
Linzen et al. 1998
- Mammillaria crucigera Martius
Thin brownish-black centrals
will eventually form with age
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties,
forms and cultivars of
Taxon has lots of synonyms whit
several controversial varieties and subspecies):