Etymology - Named after the Cochimí Indians which used to live in Baja California where this genus is found Cochemiea is a collection of species that all hail from the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. They are similar to Mammillaria in many ways and some still do not believe a separate genus is warranted. All species of Cochemiea feature short cylindrical stems that form small clumps of a dozen or more stems that prefer to grow in the cracks of rocks in habitat. The stems are tuberculate and heavily armed with stout spines; all but one species featuring prominent hooked central spines. The red (sometimes orange) flowers are the most distinguishing feature of Cochemiea. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical and protrude out on elongated floral tubes above the spines with strongly recurved petals. In common with Mammillaria, the flowers are borne from the axils of the tubercles on second-year growth. The tubercles are dimorphic and do not have a groove.
These plants are not common in cultivation as they seem to prefer especially hot and dry conditions that are difficult for most growers to achieve.