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Accepted Scientific Name: Mammillaria crinita subs. leucantha (Boed.) D.R.Hunt
Mammillaria Postscripts 6: 6 (1997)
Origin and Habitat: Mammillaria aurihamata is endemic to Mexico, where it occurs in San Luis Potosi, near Real de Catorce.
Altitude range: Around 2500 meter above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: This species grows in black humus among limestone rocks, under bushes.
- Mammillaria aurihamata Boed.
Mammillaria crinita DC.
Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 17: 112. 1828
- Mammillaria crinita DC.
- Cactus crinitus (DC.) Kuntze
- Chilita crinita (DC.) Buxb.
- Ebnerella crinita (DC.) Buxb.
- Krainzia crinita (DC.) Doweld
- Mammillaria glochidiata var. crinita (DC.) K.Schum.
- Mammillaria glochidiata f. crinita (DC.) Schelle
- Mammillaria aureoviridis Heinrich
- Mammillaria brevicrinita Repp.
- Mammillaria cadereytana Backeb.
- Mammillaria calleana Backeb.
- Mammillaria criniformis DC.
- Mammillaria erectohamata Boed.
- Mammillaria felipensis Repp.
- Mammillaria gilensis Boed.
- Mammillaria glochidiata var. xiloensis Repp.
- Mammillaria moeller-valdeziana Appenz.
- Mammillaria mollihamata Shurly
- Mammillaria puberula Repp.
- Mammillaria pubispina Boed.
- Mammillaria pygmaea (Britton & Rose) A.Berger
- Chilita pygmaea (Britton & Rose) Buxb.
- Ebnerella pygmaea (Britton & Rose) Buxb.
- Neomammillaria pygmaea Britton & Rose
- Mammillaria scheinvariana R.Ortega V. & Glass
- Mammillaria crinita subs. scheinvariana (R.Ortega V. & Glass) W.A.Fitz Maur. & B.Fitz Maur.
- Mammillaria schelhasii Pfeiff.
- Cactus schelhasii (Pfeiff.) Kuntze
- Chilita schelhasii (Pfeiff.) Orcutt
- Ebnerella schelhasii (Pfeiff.) Buxb.
- Mammillaria schelhasei Pfeiff. Pfeiff.
- Neomammillaria schelhasii (Pfeiff.) Britton & Rose
- Mammillaria schelhasii var. triuncinata Salm-Dyck
- Mammillaria schelhasei f. triuncinata (Salm-Dyck) Schelle
- Mammillaria tezontle W.A.Fitz Maur. & B.Fitz Maur.
- Mammillaria variabilis Repp.
- Mammillaria zeilmanniana Boed.
- Chilita zeilmanniana (Boed.) Buxb.
- Ebnerella zeilmanniana (Boed.) Buxb.
- Mammillaria crinita f. zeilmanniana (Boed.) Glass
- Neomammillaria zeilmanniana (Boed.) Y.Itô
- Mammillaria zeilmanniana f. albiflora hort.
Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei (Rogoz. & P.J.Braun)
[Basionym: Mammillaria duwei Rogoz. & P.J.Braun 1985]
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei (Rogoz. & P.J.Braun)
- Mammillaria duwei Rogoz. & P.J.Braun
- Mammillaria nana subs. duwei (Rogoz. & P.J.Braun) Pilbeam
- Mammillaria trichacantha subs. duwei (Rogoz. & P.J.Braun) Mottram
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei f. cristata hort.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei f. inermis hort.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei f. monstruosa hort.
Mammillaria crinita subs. leucantha (Boed.) D.R.Hunt
Mammillaria Postscripts 6: 6 (1997)
- Mammillaria crinita subs. leucantha (Boed.) D.R.Hunt
- Mammillaria aurihamata Boed.
Mammillaria crinita f. nana (Backeb.)
[Basionym: Mammillaria nana Backeb. 1966 ]
- Mammillaria crinita f. nana (Backeb.)
- Mammillaria nana Backeb.
- Mammillaria monancistracantha Backeb.
- Mammillaria rawlii hort.
- Mammillaria trichacantha K.Schum.
Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri (Rose) U.Guzmán
Cactaceae Syst. Init. 16: 18 (11 Oct. 2003) Remarks: first published in U.Guzmán et al., Catálogo Cact. Mex.: 120 (May 2003), without basionym reference
- Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri (Rose) U.Guzmán
- Chilita painteri (Rose) Buxb.
- Ebnerella painteri (Rose) Buxb.
- Mammillaria painteri Rose
- Neomammillaria painteri (Rose) Britton & Rose
- Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri f. monstruosa cristata hort.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri f. monstruosa hort.
ENGLISH: Gold fishhook cactus, Yellow-hook cushion
SPANISH (Español): Biznaga de espinas aureas
Description: Mammillaria aurihamata is a softish bodied plant that, as the name implies, has golden yellow hooked central spines, although the white radial spines tend to lighten the colour, and is particularly attractive at all times of the year. The blossoms are small, yellowish white and are followed by red fruits. It grows vigorously, offsets freely, and makes an impressive mound of heads when quite young. Mammillaria aurihamata is included by Hunt and al.(2006) within (as a synonym of) Mammillaria crinita subsp. leucantha, suggesting that there is not really a fundamental difference between the two.
Stem: Solitary, sometimes clumping at base, globose to ovate, glossy green, depressed, the base often tuberous, 60 mm high and 40 mm in diameter. With watery sap.
Tubercles: In 8-13 spirals series, shining, short cylindrical, keeled ventrally, 6 mm long and 3 mm wide. Axil with a little wool, mostly naked, but with 8 white hair-like bristles up to 15 mm long.
Radial spines: (15-)24-26, 8 mm long, nearly hair-like, smooth, yellowish white to white, semi-stiff, in the upper part of the body strongly ascending, later horizontal.
Central spines: 4-5, upper three 10 mm long, the lowest hooked and to 25 mm long, all slender acicular, smooth to somewhat pubescent, whitish yellow in youth, becoming golden yellow to brownish yellow.
Flowers: Funnelform, cream yellowish or pale pinkish with reddish brown mid-veins on the outer petals,15 mm long and 12 mm wide.
Fruits: Red, clavate, small, 8 mm long and 3 mm wide.
Seeds: Brownish black, oval with lateral hilum, 1 mm in diameter often conspicuously strophiolate.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Mammillaria crinita complex
- Mammillaria aurihamata Boed.: has golden yellow hooked central spines. Distribution: Mexico, where it occurs in San Luis Potosi, near Real de Catorce.
- Mammillaria brevicrinita Repp.: (Mammillaria crinita) Radial spines 10 - 29, white, finely pubescent, 6 - 9 mm long.
Central spines: 0 - 7, awl-shaped, yellowish to red to dark brown, 8-16 mm long, one or two hooked.
- Mammillaria crinita DC.: This taxon comprises a very variable a complex of forms, variety and species with varible spination. The flowers cream colored to a pink-cream colored. This is one of the most prolific bloomers among the Mammillarias.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei (Rogoz. & P.J.Braun): It is a small cactus with delicate near harmless feathery spines densely wrapped against the body of the cactus. The long central spine is not present on all the clones, they are yellowish, hooked, to 8 mm long, pubescent. The flowers are yellowish/cream to light yellow.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei f. cristata hort.: crested form completely covered by tight pubescent spines.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei f. inermis hort.: this is a selected strain with pure feathery radial spines (central spines absent)
- Mammillaria crinita subs. duwei f. monstruosa hort.: This is a true oddity and some say that this monster is nothing else than a abnormal root grafted upside down.
- Mammillaria crinita f. nana (Backeb.)
- Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri (Rose) U.Guzmán: has red, brown or coffee coloured central spines. With age it may offset from the base to form a small cluster. Distribution: Queretaro and adjacent areas in Hidalgo and Guanajuato.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri f. monstruosa cristata hort.: Crested form. has more bristly spines than the Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri f. monstruosa from which it derives.
- Mammillaria crinita subs. painteri f. monstruosa hort.: Cultivated mutant characterized by very reduced or absent spines, free branching, and with small pink flowers.
- Mammillaria glochidiata var. xiloensis Repp.: (Mammillaria crinita) Plants irregularly forming tightly packed cluster of egg-shaped balls, up to 5 cm tall with dark yellow fine hooklike spines and pale cream-pink flowers.
- Mammillaria monancistracantha Backeb.: (Mammillaria crinita f. nana)
- Mammillaria scheinvariana R.Ortega V. & Glass: (Mammillaria crinita) Stem covered by numerous hairlike radial spines, giving the plant a shaggy appearance.
- Mammillaria tezontle W.A.Fitz Maur. & B.Fitz Maur.: has small stems only 1-2 cm in diameter with short, yellow central spination and relatively large flowers. Distribution: North of San Luis Potosi.
- Mammillaria trichacantha K.Schum.: (Mammillaria crinita f. nana) It his is a remarkable species on account of its having short hooked brown to yellow/orangish spines that finally turn to gray.
- Mammillaria wildii A.Dietr.: (Mammillaria crinita ssp. wildii) Short brownish to yellow hooked, minutely pubescent central spines and 1 to 15, whitish, smooth, 4 to 5 mm long radials.
- Mammillaria wildii f. cristata hort.: (Mammillaria crinita ssp wildii "cristata") It will form huge crested and free flowering mounds up 40 cm (or more) in diameter.
- Mammillaria zeilmanniana Boed.: has flowers typically carmine violet to purple-pink in color, seldom white. Distribution: San Miguel de Allende in Cañada Virgen, Guanajuato.
- Mammillaria zeilmanniana f. albiflora hort.: is a white flowered sport that was produced in cultivation and not known to occur in the wild.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Boedeker, Zeitschrift für Kakteenkunde 3 (15) : 340 -342 (1928)
2) Craig: The Mammillaria Handbook: 153 – 154
3) Mitteilungsblatt des AfM: 1/91; 6 - 11
4) The Journal of the Mammillaria Society, Mammillaria Society, 1980
5) The National Cactus and Succulent Journal, Volume 23, National Cactus and Succulent Society, 1968
6) Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). “The New Cactus Lexicon.” dh Books, Milborne Port, UK. 2006.
7) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
8) “Supplement to Hortus, for the Five Current Years Including 1930” Macmillan, 1935
Cultivation and Propagation: Mammillaria aurihamata is not an easy plant to grow , more rot prone than most and more demanding regarding soil conditions.
Growth rate: It is a small growing, but easily flowering, species that will make clumps given the best conditions.
Soils: It likes very porous standard cactus mix soil.
Repotting: It will need a pot with sufficient depth to allow the tap root. Use pot with good drainage.
Watering: Water regularly in summer, but do not overwater (Rot prone), keep dry in winter. Keep Mammillaria aurihamata in very dry and ventilated place especially in winter.
Fertilization: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Hardiness: Reputedly sensitive to frost , but less so if kept on the dry side prior to, and during, cold weather (hardy to -5° C for short periods). However warmth throughout the year will increase the grower's success (minimum 5° to 8°C during rest season).
Exposition: Outside bright sun, filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Subject to sunburn if exposed to direct sun for too long. Tends to bronze in strong light, which encourages flowering and heavy wool and spine production.
Uses: It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small. It look fine in a cold greenhouse and frame.
Pests & diseases: It may be attractive to a variety of insects, but plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free, particularly if they are grown in a mineral potting-mix, with good exposure and ventilation. Nonetheless, there are several pests to watch for:
- Red spiders: Red spiders may be effectively rubbed up by misting the vulnerable plants every day
- Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs easily they develop aerial into the new growth among the wool with disfiguring results, but the worst types develop underground on the roots and are invisible except by their effects.
- Scales: Scales are rarely a problem.
It is wise to treat your whole collection with a systemic insecticide twice a year in spring and autumn.
- Rot: Rot is only a minor problem with mammillaria if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: Direct sow after last frost or (rarely) cuttings. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days at 21-27° C in spring, remove the glass cover gradually as the plants develops and keep ventilated, no full sun for young plants! To make a cutting twist off a branch and permit it to dry out a couple of weeks, lay it on the soil and insert the stem end partially into the soil. Try to keep the cutting somewhat upright so that the roots are able to grow downward.
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