Mammillaria 'Toluca'

Mammillaria polythele

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Gardeners' Notes:


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.