Mother of Hundreds

Mammillaria compressa

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: compressa (kom-PRESS-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Neomammillaria compressa
Synonym:Cactus compressa
Synonym:Mammillaria angularis f. compressa
Synonym:Mammillaria angularis var. compressa
Synonym:Mammillaria angularis


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:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


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

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly



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:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

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:

Phoenix, Arizona

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 17, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Other synonyms include: Mammillaria bernalensis, Mammillaria cirrhifera, Mammillaria conopsea, Mammillaria centricirrha var. conopsea, Cactus conopseus, Mammillaria esseriana, Mammillaria tolimensis, Mammillaria conopea & Mammillaria esseriana.

The subspecies 'compressa' forms large clumps up to about 3&half feet wide and has no central spines per areole.
The other subspecies 'centralifera' has mostly solitary stems but clumps occasionally and has 2 central spines.
The synonym for 'subsp. centralifera' is Mammillaria centralifera.


On Mar 3, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the more vigorous mammillaria species and it offsets profusely (probably why the common name). It has long, white spines and reddish pink flowers. It has more synonyms than I can list. At Huntington Gardens, Pasadena California, it is one of the primary low-growing cactus used in their landscaping. Like a few other vigorous, large Mammillaria (such as M magnimamma), this plant has a massive caudiciform root, sort of like a cycad. One of the easiest of all the Mammillaria to grow for me.. extremely resistant to rot and erratic watering strategies. Great as a potted plant - fills pot rapidly and makes a nice specimen plant.