Mammillaria dioica

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Mammillaria dioica
Mammillariadioica1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Mammillaria
Species: M. dioica
Binomial name
Mammillaria dioica
M.K. Brandegee

Mammillaria dioica, also called the strawberry cactus, California fishhook cactus, strawberry pincusion or fishhook cactus, is a cactus species of the genus Mammillaria. [1] Its common name in Spanish is biznaga llavina.[2]

Distribution[edit]

The cactus is found in the western Colorado Desert scrub including in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and in Coastal sage scrub habitats of Southern California; and in coastal chaparral and Sonoran Desert habitats of Baja California and Baja California Sur states on the Baja California Peninsula of México. [3] [4] It grows from 10–1,500 feet (3.0–457.2 m) in elevation.

Polyploid wild plants of this species have been found in Mexico. Both tetraploid and hexaploid varieties have been recorded.

Description[edit]

Mammillaria dioica possesses short, firm tubercles ending in the spines. Most of these spines are whitish and straight, but each tubercle has a longer central spine which is slightly curved and dark. [5]

A single plant can bear both male and female flowers, from mid-spring to mid-summer. Some plants may produce bisexual flowers as well, thus totaling three types of flower on a single plant. The flowers are white to cream in color and range from 10 millimeters (0.4 inch) to 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) in length. [5]

The fruits produced are bright red and ovoid, often with one end thicker than the other and are edible and tastes like a cross between a strawberry and a kiwi. The seeds are small (0.6 to 0.8 millimeters), black, and pitted.[5]

Subspecies[edit]

Recognized subspecies include: [2]

  • Mammillaria dioica subsp dioica
  • Mammillaria dioica subsp angelensis
  • Mammillaria dioica subsp estebanensis

Uses[edit]

The Kumeyaay people (Diegueño), of Baja California and Southern California, ate the raw fruits as a food source.[6]

Cultivation[edit]

Mammillaria dioica is cultivated by specialty cactus plant nurseries and by botanical gardens for plant sales. It requires very well-drained soil, and so is often grown in pots and in raised beds in drought tolerant gardens. [7] [8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]