PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Bird's Nest Mammillaria
Mammillaria decipiens subsp. camptotricha

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mammillaria (mam-mil-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: decipiens subsp. camptotricha
Synonym:Mammillaria camptotricha
Synonym:Dolichothele camptotricha
Synonym:Pseudomammillaria camptotricha
Synonym:Krainzia decipiens subsp. camptotricha
Synonym:Neomammillaria camptotricha


Cactus and Succulents


under 6 in. (15 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


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:

Light Shade


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

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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 woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

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:

Phoenix, Arizona

Las Vegas, Nevada

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 7, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The flowers have white petals with pale yellow centers on all three subspecies.
The subspecies 'decipiens' has 5-11 white radial spines.
The subspecies 'albescens' has 3-5 white radial spines and are shorter than those of 'subsp. decipiens'.
The subspecies 'camptotrina' has about 4-5 radial spines that are usually over an inch long and bristly.


On Feb 20, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Interesting looking cactus with fine, wavy, long spines (maybe a bit like a bird's nest?) on the tips of extra-long knobs of this dark green, very knobby cactus. Slow to grow and sucker.