Prime destination for succulent lovers

Mammillaria crinita (Pincushion Cactus)


Scientific Name

Mammillaria crinita DC.

Common Names

Pincushion Cactus


Mammillaria crinita subsp. crinita, Mammillaria ancistroides, Mammillaria criniformis

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Subtribe: Cactinae
Genus: Mammillaria


Mammillaria crinita is a very variable species with many forms, varieties, and subspecies. Mammillaria crinita subsp. crinita is a cactus with dark green, globose to shortly cylindrical stems, solitary or clustering from the base, and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) tall. Tubercules are conical to tubular. It has 10 to 29 radial spines. They are white or yellow and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long. It also has 1 to 4 central spines, with one spine hooked. They are light yellow to dark brown and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. Flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and about the same in diameter. They vary in color from white, yellow, pink to red. Fruits are globose to ovate, green to bright red with brownish-black seeds.

Mammillaria crinita (Pincushion Cactus)


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering. Unlike many other cacti, which use their ribs as storage devices, Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers appear from these tubercles' axils on the previous year's growth, which accounts for their interesting halo effect. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Mammillaria, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot. See more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.


Mammillaria crinita is native to Mexico.



Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

Share this with other succulent lovers!