Description: Mammillaria nivosa is a colourful cactus species, solitary but usually offsets a lot (mat forming). Old and well developed groups up to 40 cm in diameter (or more).
Stem: Globose to short cylindrical, dark green to bronze, 8 – 10 cm in diameter. With latex. Parastichy: 8-13, 11-17 and 13-21.
Tubercles: Obtusely conical, laterally compressed. The axil is densely woolly.
Radial spines: 6-13, straight and very sharp bright yellow to dark brown, to 20 mm long.
Central spines: Usually 1, similar to radials.
Flowers: Diurnal 2 cm yellowish. Stigmas yellow.
Blooming season: Early spring.
Fruits: Club shaped, dark red,