Owl’s Eye Pincushion

Mammillaria parkinsonii

Flowers: In Spring/Foresummer
Origin: Central Mexico in lime-rich soils
Family: Cactaceae
Size: 6″ tall x 2′ wide
Growth Rate: Slow
Temperature: Hardy to 23 F for brief periods
Care: Summer growing cactus that’s easy to cultivate. Provide full sun and water regularly in summer; do not water in the winter. Let dry between waterings and use a balanced fertilizer every 2 weeks in summer.
Uses: The mammillaria genus has been used to treat ear-ache, dysentery, and poison. Cacti from this genus have also been used as an insecticide, snake repellent, pulicide, and purgative
Propagation: Possible from seed, woody stem cuttings, rhizomes and tubers or offsets from the mother plant.
Disease and Pests: Root rot if overwatered, possibly mealybugs or red spiders.

  • Highly drought tolerant
  • Great for small containers, but protect from afternoon summer desert sun
  • Listed as an IUCN Redlist Endangered Species


In Maricopa County the average first frost date varies from Nov 21st to Dec 12th. In Tucson the average first frost date is Dec 3rd.

  • Keep plants well watered
  • Place plants in a protected microclimate
  • Protect by covering plants, adding heat or increasing air circulation
  • Do not prune frost damage until plants begin growing

For more info: Protecting Frost Sensitive Plants

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