Mammillaria zeilmanniana is a cactus endemic to Mexico. Its natural habitat the daytime temperatures are quite high and the nights are cool. It grows on steep of volcanic rock (igneous) face in canyon walls in semi-desert and deciduous forests.
Mammillaria zeilmanniana is one of the most beautiful Mammillaria. It is an exception from the general rule that red-flowered cactus of this genus do not bloom until they are several years old. It produces a profusion of deep carmine-red flowers while still quite young and small. The young cactus is solitary but slowly forms a cluster of individual nearly globular stems, which are glossy green and usually about 6cm (2.3 inch) high and 5cm (2 inch) across. A four-year-old specimen is likely to fill a 10cm (4 inch) container. The tubercles are 6mm (2.3 inch) high and each areole has 15 to 18 radial white and 2 to 4 central brown spines, all about 1-2cm (0.4-0.8 inch) long. One of the centrals is hooked.