Mammillaria Information

motm-2011-03

Mammillaria hernandezii

Photo: Plant in Cultivation: M hernandezii Copyright of Chris Davies 2011

Mammillaria hernandezii is a delightful miniature species, which has come to popularity in recent years.

It was first described by Glass and Foster in 1983 in the CSSJ, named after its discoverer. It is described as solitary, depressed globose between 25 and 45mm in diameter. The axils have sparse short wool, and its al radial spines are from 17 to 25 in number, white, and between 1.2 and 2.5mm long.

In cultivation in the UK, it presents no major problem, and clumping specimens are now seen on the show bench, and highly rated for Show purposes. Flowering is perhaps the most difficult aspect, as it produces its flower buds in late autumn, and just when the light levels are falling and the temperatures dropping, it attempts to open. When the flowers do open, they are a lovely cerise to magenta colour, but all too often the buds abort. The plant comes from the state of Oaxaca at about 2300 ft, so a degree of warmth is perhaps needed as well as a good light level, although the temptation to apply water during our dull winters in an attemt to spur the flower into more growth and finally open is to be resisted.