Mammillaria variaculeata belongs to the Cactaceae (the Cactus family). It is an evergreen succulent perennial that is native to southern Mexico, Puebla. This herb grows in tropical deciduous forests, 1,200-1,400 m above sea level. It is a clumping cactus forking dichotomously at maturity. The spherical to cylindrical stems are green to dark green. They are up to 30 cm high and can reach a diameter of up to 9 cm. The warts are pyramidally shaped. The axils are occupied by 10-25 white bristles, which have a length of 4-8 mm. The up to 5 middle spines, less in age, are needlelike and light brown. The red flowers measure 4 cm in length and diameter. The ripe fruits are scarlet.