George Lindsay (pers. comm.), one of the most knowledgeable people on the cacti of Baja California, has long contended that Cochemiea is distinct from Mammillaria. All have agreed that its floral syndrome for hummingbird pollination is distinct from that of most mammillarias, and DNA sequence data show it to be clearly separate (Charlie Butterworth, pers. comm.). I treat it here as a separate genus, disagreeing with the International Cactaceae Systematics Group.

Katharine Brandegee described Cochemiea as a subgenus of Mammillaria in 1897; it was raised to the level of genus (type, M halei- C. halei) by Frederick Walton in 1899. The name is derived from a tribe of Native Americans, the Cochi-mi, who once occupied part of Baja California. Nathaniel

Cleistocactus winteri

166 Cochemiea

Britton and Joseph Rose accepted the genus, including four species in it. Butterworth (pers. comm.) believes that M. thornberi is closely related to Cochemiea, the two taxa possibly derived from a common ancestor.

The most distinguishing feature of Cochemiea is the long tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, red flowers with exserted stamens and style. The stems are elongate, cylindrical, and covered with tubercles that are spirally arranged and without grooves. All five species lack a milky sap.

Cochemiea (K. Brandegee) Walton 1899 Mammillaria subg. Cochemiea K. Brandegee 1897

Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Cacteae. Plants often forming clusters with several stems, either ascending or prostrate. Stems cylindrical to elongate cylindrical, green, to 1 m (3.3 ft) longand 7 cm (2.8 in) in diameter. Tubercles distinct, spirally arranged, without grooves, lacking milky sap. Areoles dimorphic. Spines, both centrals and radi-als, variable. Central spine hooked. Radial spines straight. Flowers borne from the axils of the tubercles, open during the day, hummingbird pollinated, narrowly tubular, bilaterally symmetrical, often S shaped, with oblique perianth parts, red. Fruits globose, naked, red to purplish red, indehiscent, with large terminal scars. Seeds black, deeply pitted. Distribution: Baja California Peninsula, Mexico.

Cochemiea halei (K. Brandegee) Walton 1899 Mammillaria halei K. Brandegee 1889

Plants forming large clumps to 2 m (6.6 fit) wide. Stems cylindrical, 30-50 cm (12-20 in) long, 5-7.5 cm (2-3 in) in diameter. Tubercles short, axils woolly Central spines 3-4, reddish brown, later gray, straight, stiff, stout, to 35 mm (1.4 in) long. Radial spines 10-21, reddish brown, becoming gray, to 12 mm (0.5 in) long. Flowers borne vertically, 2.5-5 cm (1-2

in) long; floral tubes long. Fruits club shaped, red, to 12 mm (0.5 in) long. Distribution: Magdalena and Santa Margarita Islands, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Cochemiea marítima G. E. Lindsay 1937 Mammillaria marítima (G. E. Lindsay) D. R. Hunt 1971, M. pondiisubsp. marítima (G. E. Lindsay) D. R. Hunt 1997

Plants forming large clumps to 1 m (3.3 ft) wide. Stems elongate cylindrical, erect or decumbent, blue-green, 3-7 cm (1.2-2.8 in) in diameter. Tubercles subconical, slightly flattened laterally, axils gray woolly. Central spines 4, reddish brown; the upper 3 ascending, straight, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long; the lower one horizontally extended outward and forward, hooked, 2-5 cm (0.8-2 in) long. Radial spines 10-15, white with black tips, spreading, to 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Flowers trumpet shaped, flared and reflexed, with the styles twice as long as the perianth, to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Fruits globose, red. Distribution: along the Pacific coast west of Punta Prieta, Baja California, Mexico.

Cochemiea pondii (Greene) Walton 1899

bizn agita

Mammillaria pondii Greene 1889

Plants solitary at first, later branching to form small clumps. Stems cylindrical, to 30 cm (12 in) long, 3-7 cm (1.2-2.8 in) in diameter. Tubercles conical, axils with bristles. Central spines 4-5, one rigid and strongly hooked, whitish with dark brown tips, to 25 mm (1 in) long. Radial spines 20-30, slender, white, sometimes brownish. Flowers to 50 mm (2 in) long; stamens sometimes exserted. Fruits purplish red. Distribution: Cedros Island, Baja California, Mexico.

Cochemiea Maritima

Cochemiea maritima, photograph by Charles Glass

Cochemiea setispina

Cochemiea maritima, photograph by Charles Glass

Cochemiea setispina

Coleocephaiocereus aureus 167

Cochemiea poselgeri (Hildmann) Britton &Rose 1923 biznagita

Mammillaria poselgeri Hildmann 1885

Plants branching basally to form clumps with the stems often hanging from the rocks. Stems cylindrical, to 2 m (6.6 ft) long and 4 cm (1.6 in) in diameter. Tubercles widespread, three-sided, rounded apically, axils woolly, sometimes with a few bristles. Central spine one, hooked, 15-20 mm (0.6-0.8 in) long. Radial spines about 8, brown with white tips, to 10 mm (0.4 in) long. Flowers to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Fruits globose to broadly elongate, red. Distribution: Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Cochemiea setispina (J. M. Coulter) Walton 1899 Cactus setispinus J. M. Coulter 1894, Mammillaria setispina (J. M. Coulter) K. Brandegee 1897, M. pondiisubsp. setispina (J. M. Coulter) D. R. Hunt 1997

Plants forming clusters. Stems cylindrical, light gray-green, to 30 cm (12 in) high, 3-6 cm (1.2-2.4 in) in diameter. Tubercles short, broadly conical, axils woolly. Central spines 14,2-5 cm (0.8-2 in), upper one straight, lowest one longest and hooked. Radial spines 10-12, unequal, slender, flexible, white with dark tips, 1-3.5 cm (0.4-1.4 in) long. Flowers 55.5 cm (2-2.2 in) long; stamens strongly exserted. Fruits club shaped, dark red, to 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Distribution: San Borja region, San Julio Canyon, and Ángel de la Guarda Island, Baja California, Mexico.

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  • helena
    Does cochemiea pondii have hooked spines?
    6 years ago