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PlantFiles: Mammillaria
Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca'

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: polythele (pol-lee-THEL-e) (Info)
Cultivar: Toluca

Synonym:Mammillaria toluca
Synonym:Mammillaria vagaspina var. toluca

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Mammillaria polythele by Xenomorf

By franj
Thumbnail #2 of Mammillaria polythele by franj

By franj
Thumbnail #3 of Mammillaria polythele by franj

By Zaragoza
Thumbnail #4 of Mammillaria polythele by Zaragoza


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Xenomorf On Jul 18, 2007, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The differences between the subspecies are:
-ssp. polythele: The stems are 3-4 inches thick. It has 2 spines per areole on the new growth and later developes 3-4 spines per areole.
-ssp. durispina: The stems are 2-2.4 inches thick. The spines number from 6-8 per areole at different lengths.
-ssp. obconella: The stems get up to 6 inches thick. It has four spines per areole arranged like a cross.

The cultivar 'Toluca' has no spines or one or two small spines per arele and the flowers are deep red as opposed to magenta like the other subspecies of Mammillaria poythele are.

The 'nudum' form has no spines at all.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

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