Mammillaria karwinskiana


Cactus bergii
Cactus geminatus
Cactus karwinskianus
Cactus multisectus
Cactus praelii
Cactus pyrrhocephalus
Cactus subpolyedrus
Cactus virens
Cactus viridis
Cactus voburnensis
Cactus woburnensis
Mammillaria closiana
Mammillaria confusa var. centrispina
Mammillaria confusa var. conzattii
Mammillaria confusa var. robustispina
Mammillaria conzattii
Mammillaria ebenacantha
Mammillaria fulvolanata
Mammillaria geminata
Mammillaria inclinis
Mammillaria jalappensis
Mammillaria karwinskiana var. flavescens
Mammillaria karwinskiana var. virens
Mammillaria karwinskii
Mammillaria malletiana
Mammillaria malletiana f. fulvolanata
Mammillaria malletiana var. pyrrhocephala
Mammillaria multiseta
Mammillaria nejapensis f. brevispina
Mammillaria nejapensis f. longispina
Mammillaria nejapensis var. brevispina
Mammillaria nejapensis var. longispina
Mammillaria nejapensis var. typica
Mammillaria parmentieri
Mammillaria praelii
Mammillaria pyrrhocephala
Mammillaria pyrrhocephala var. donkelaerii
Mammillaria pyrrhocephala var. malletiana
Mammillaria rhodacantha
Mammillaria senkii
Mammillaria strobilina
Mammillaria subpolyedra
Mammillaria virens
Mammillaria viridis
Mammillaria viridis var. praelii
Mammillaria voburnensis
Mammillaria voburnensis subsp. voburnensis
Mammillaria voburnensis var. gerhardii
Mammillaria voburnensis var. voburnensis
Mammillaria woburnensis
Neomammillaria confusa var. centrispina
Neomammillaria confusa var. robustispina
Neomammillaria conzattii
Neomammillaria karwinskiana
Neomammillaria nejapensis var. aureispina
Neomammillaria nejapensis var. brevispina
Neomammillaria nejapensis var. elegans
Neomammillaria nejapensis var. longispina
Neomammillaria neomystax var. rhodacantha
Neomammillaria praelii
Neomammillaria pyrrhocephala
Neomammillaria pyrrocephala
Neomammillaria subpolyedra
Neomammillaria voburnensi


Mammillaria karwinskiana, commonly known as Karwinski’s nipple cactus, is native to a broad region spanning Guatemala and various states in Mexico, including Chiapas, Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Morelos, Michoacán, and Puebla. You can find this cactus thriving at altitudes ranging from 150 to 2100 meters above sea level.


Mammillaria karwinskiana, also known as Karwinski’s nipple cactus, is a cactus that typically grows alone or slowly branches over time. It features a cream-colored fuzzy covering on top. There are four recognized subspecies: the standard form, ssp. beiselii (Diers) D.R Hunt, ssp. collinsii (Orcutt) D.R.Hunt, and ssp. nejapensis (R.T.Craig & E.Y Dawson) D.R.Hunt.
The stem is rounded to somewhat cylindrical, ranging in color from blue-green to dark green. It can reach up to 12 cm in diameter and 8-20 cm in height. The axils, or the angles between the stem and the branch, are densely covered with white hair and long bristles.
The tubercles, small rounded projections on the stem, are firm and arranged in a spiral pattern, usually numbering between 13 to 21. This cactus has about 6 radial spines, which are straight or slightly curved and range in color from cream to reddish with brown tips. As they age, they become a chalky white. The upper and lower spines tend to be the longest.
Mammillaria karwinskiana produces funnel-shaped flowers that are cream-white to yellow, featuring purplish mid-veins. These blooms, which can be up to 25 mm long and 15 mm in diameter, typically adorn the top of the plant in a ring-like pattern, representing the growth from the previous year.
The flowering period for this cactus occurs in early spring. The fruits that follow are elongated and strikingly red in color.


Mammillaria karwinskiana is a straightforward plant to cultivate, and it can become a captivating addition to any collection. As time passes, it will form large clusters. This cactus expands through dichotomous division and the production of offsets, requiring no special care. However, it does thrive in abundant light, although care should be taken not to scorch the plant, which helps maintain its compact stems. It prefers a well-drained soil mixture. During the growing season, water it thoroughly and then allow the soil to completely dry before watering again. In the winter, it’s best to limit watering, and the plant can endure brief exposure to freezing temperatures (-4°C) if it has been properly acclimated and kept dry.


The most effective way to propagate Mammillaria karwinskiana is through seeds, which tend to germinate readily at temperatures between 20°C and 22°C. Alternatively, if offsets are available, they can also be used for propagation.


The initial species was named by Carl Linnaeus as “Cactus mammillaris” in 1753. The name is derived from the Latin word “mammilla,” which means “nipple,” in reference to the distinctive tubercles found on the plant, a characteristic feature of the genus.
This particular cactus, often referred to as the “Owl Eye Cactus,” is notable for its unique dichotomous branching, a rare phenomenon in cacti. What sets this species apart is its initial existence as a single head, which then divided into two, and so forth. Among the Owl Eye Cactus family, we also find other species like Mammillaria crucigera, Mammillaria formosa, Mammillaria microthele and Mammillaria perbella.

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