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Accepted Scientific Name: Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae (Mart.-Aval. & Glass) Lüthy
Kakteen Sukk. 49(8): 184 (1998)
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin: The natural species comes from Mexico (Tamaulipas) where it grows among rocks, on fertile soils rich in dark organic material produced by the decomposition of vegetable matter in open pinion woodland, 700-1400 mt altitude.
Mammillaria schiedeana Ehrenb.
Allg. Gartenzeitung (Otto & Dietrich) 6: 249. 1838
- Mammillaria schiedeana Ehrenb.
Mammillaria schiedeana subs. dumetorum (J.A.Purpus) D.R.Hunt
Mammillaria Postscripts 6: 7 (1997)
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. dumetorum (J.A.Purpus) D.R.Hunt
Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae (Mart.-Aval. & Glass) Lüthy
Kakteen Sukk. 49(8): 184 (1998)
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae (Mart.-Aval. & Glass) Lüthy
- Mammillaria giselae Mart.-Aval. & Glass
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae f. albiflora hort.
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae f. cristata hort.
Mammillaria schiedeana var. plumosa
Description: The typical Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae (Mammillaria giselae) is a small clustering cactus with up to 15, or rarely as many as 35 stems. Individual cluster up to 10 cm in diameter (or more in cultivation). It has about 16-21 radials ( 2- 5 mm long), fine, needle-like, feathery, flexible, somewhat pectinated, white, yellow to almost orange and few very central set between the series of radials and very short, from 0.17 mm long. The flower are pale pink to pink, with darker, narrow midstripe.
Crested form: The crested form is cultivated for its fan shaped stem with dense bristly spine. Flowers are produced on the the apex of crested stems too. Crested specimens are often grafted on stronger species, called the stock, that can be any number of different columnar cactus.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Mammillaria schiedeana group
- Mammillaria schiedeana Ehrenb.: subsp. schiedeana It has up to 120 thin radial spines per areole. The flowers are white.
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. dumetorum (J.A.Purpus) D.R.Hunt: It has less than 50 radial spines per areole and are stiffer than the fine spines of 'ssp. Schiedeana'. The flowers are near white.
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae (Mart.-Aval. & Glass) Lüthy: It has 16-21 very thin flexible radial spines per areole, and no bristley hairs in the axils. The flowers are pinkish.
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae f. albiflora hort.: White flowering form.
- Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae f. cristata hort.: Crested form.
- Mammillaria schiedeana var. plumosa: white spined form with slightly different soft interwoven spination.
- Mammillaria schiedeana cv. Snowball: It forms large groups of little globes covered entirely in even longer shining-white, soft, silky hairs.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Curt Backeberg “Cactus Lexicon” Sterling Publishing Company, Incorporated, 1978Edward
2) F. Anderson (2001) “ The Cactus Family”.
3) Hiroshi Hirao “Colour encyclopaedia of cacti” Japan 1979 (Japanese language and script)
4) Willy Cullmann, Erich Götz (Dozent Dr.), Gerhard Gröner “The encyclopedia of cacti” Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1986
5) David Hunt, Nigel Taylor “The New Cactus Lexicon” DH Books, 2006 ISBN 0953813444, 9780953813445
Mammillaria schiedeana subs. giselae f. cristata Photo by: Raimondo Paladini
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Cultivation and Propagation: It is a slow growing species of easy culture, recommended for any collection, it doesn't require any special treatment. Water regularly in summer, but do not overwater (Rot prone) Use pot with good drainage and a very porous potting media, keep dry in winter. Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer. It is quite frost resistant if kept dry, hardy as low as -5° C (some reports give it hardy to -5°C) Sun Exposure: High levels of light are needed to flower and for good spine development. Can be sunburned if moved from shade/greenhouse into full sun too quickly. During the spring it may be able to take full sun until the heat arrives at the end of spring. In an area that has hot afternoon sun, it may be able to take full morning sun, but requires afternoon shade or afternoon light shade. If grown correctly, it will reward the grower with generous displays of purple flowers.
Clustering in cultivation after several years and easily flowered. For best results, use a shallow pot, and only use the smallest diameter pot that will accommodate the plant.
Propagation: Direct sow after last frost (usually) or division, wait until the offsets that appear at the base of old clustered specimens are 1/3 the size of the parent and then detach and plant. (Cuttings root quickly)
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