Mammillaria centricirrha

Mammillaria centricirrha Lem. ()
🌡 Author(s)
🌡 Published in Cact. Gen. Sp. Nov.: 42 (1839)

Latin centrum ‘center’ + Latin cirrus (also spelled cirrhus under the influence of the unrelated Greek kirrhos ‘orange-tawny’) ‘lock, curl, tuft of hair, octopus tentacle’, French cirre ‘appendage protruding from the body of an animal’. For the central spines. Lemaire: “Etym[ology:] M[ammillaria] whose [spine] bundles bear a large tentacle-shaped spine in the center” (“Etym. M. cujus fasciculi in centro aculeum longiorem cirrhiformem gerunt”), “M[ammillaria] whose [spine] bundles bear a large tentacle-shaped spine [cirrhe]” (“M. dont les faisceaux portent un grand aiguillon en forme de tentacule [cirrhe]” [brackets in original]).

Not “curled in the center” (“in der Mitte gelockt”) (Schumann, Gesamtbeschr. Kakt.: 580. 1897). Schramm (Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 27: 162. 1917) critized Schumann’s translation, but his own etymology was also incorrect: “In the word centricirrha in Mamillaria centricirrha, it seems to me the meaning of the word element “centri” must be translated as spine [greek kentron] and not, as K. Schumann assumes, with “in the center”: cirrhus or rather cirrus (Greek κόρρη [korrΔ“]) means lock or tuft of hair. Thus “centricirrha” is something like “barbed curl” or “furnished with a curl or tuft of spines”, which expression seems clearer to me and corresponds better to the appearance of the cactus than the Schumann translation “curled in the center”.”

How to cite

van der Meer, Maarten H.J. (2022, July 19). Mammillaria centricirrha. Dictionary of Cactus Names. Retrieved from