Mammilloydia

Researchers have long struggled over what to do with a species of Mexican cactus that looks like other mammillarias but differs in having distinctive seeds that are not pitted and that lack perisperm. Originally described by Michel Scheidweiler as Mammillaria Candida, many have been content simply to leave it in that genus. Franz Buxbaum believed it sufficiently distinct to belong in a separate genus, however, so in 1951 he described Mammilloydia (type, Mammillaria Candida = Mammilloydia Candida) for it. The name is a combination of Mammillaria and Neolloydia, two genera to which Buxbaum believed Mammilloydia closely related.

David Hunt and other Mammillaria specialists believe that Buxbaum was correct in separating Mammilloydia from Mammillaria. Mammilloydia differs from Mammillaria in important characters such as seeds, for example. Hunt (pers. comm.) comments that the resemblance of the two genera is likely a case of convergent evolution. The International Cac-taceae Systematics Group accepts Mammilloydia as a distinct genus with a single species (Hunt 1999a), flowering during the day in summer.

Continue reading here: Mammilloydia Buxbaum 1951

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