This species has in the past been included under the genus Pelycyphora due to its very similar pectinate spines. Later, it was recognized that the flower was not that of a Pelycyphora and the species was moved into its own genus, Solisia. Most current texts place it under the genus Mammillaria, while some still use the name Solisia. In either case, this species is quite unique among Mammillaria-flowered plants in that it is the only such species with dramatically pectinate (comb-like) spines. Compare with M. solisoides (sometimes considered Mammillaria pectinifera ssp. solisoides) which has radial spines in pectinate arrangement, but much less so than M. pectinifera.
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