Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Syn. M. celsiana)-Golden Pincushion

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii after I brought it home on 9-21-18, #510-10.

Golden Pincushion

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii

mam-mil-ar-ee-uh  mew-len-?-?


Mammillaria celsiana

mam-mil-AR-ee-uh  SELS-ee-ay-nuh

This cactus is labeled Mammillaria celsiana but, according to Plants of the World Online by Kew and Llifle, Mammillaria celsiana is a synonym of Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii.

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii C.F.Först. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Mammillaria. It was named and described by Carl Friedrich Förster in Allgemeine Gartenzeitung in 1847.

The synonym, Mammillaria celsiana Lem. was named and described by Charles Antoine Lemaire in Cactearum Genera Nova Speciesque Novae in 1839.

Plants of the World Online lists 16 synonyms of this species.


Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii on 9-21-18, #510-12.

I bought this plant from Lowe’s on clearance on September 21, 2018. It was laying on the shelf, out of its pot with very little soil on it roots or in the pot. I picked up and looked at it and decided to give it a good home. It is kind of an interesting club-shape. The label says: 

Mammillaria celsiana, native of Mexico (San Louis Potosi northwest to Oaxaca), is a globular cactus. Golden radial spines with long gold centrals and white woolly areoles. Rings of small carmine flowers in the spring. Protect from frost. Provide bright light; hardy to 35° F; to 7” tall. Water thoroughly when soil is dry.

The plant is growing in a 4 oz. (2 1/2” diameter x 2 1/4” tall) pot. The plant measures approximately 3 1/4” tall x 2 1/8” wide without the spines. Since it is somewhat taller, it needs to be re-potted into a wider or heavier pot to keep it from falling over.


Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii on 9-21-18, #510-11.

Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Guanajuato, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Zones: USDA Zones 9b-11 (25-40° F)
Size: About 4-6” or more tall x 2 3/4-6” diameter.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Very well-draining soil. Posing soil amended with additional grit and pumice or perlite.
Water: Average water needs during the summer, but do not overwater. Allow soil to dry between watering. Keep it dry during the winter months.


Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii from the top on 9-21-18, #510-13.

As you can see by the photos, Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii is a very spiny cactus. It usually has 4 central spines with 24 to 50 radial spines per will covered areoles. This is another species that divides dichotomously where the single stem becomes two and so on.

As with all Mammillaria species, this one is easy to grow. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) has a lot of useful information (see link below). It does mention that this species is rot prone so it must not be overwatered. Water thoroughly when the soil is dry and be sure to let it dry between watering. Keep it dry in the winter.

I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.