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Astrophytum is a genus of six species of cacti. These species are sometimes referred to as living rocks, though the term is also used for other genera, particularly Lithops (Aizoaceae). The generic name is derived from the Greek words άστρον (astron), meaning "star," and φυτόν (phyton), meaning "plant."
the star of the cacti.
Astrophytum is a genus of six
species of cacti. The Common
names: Sand Dollar Cactus, Sea
Urchin Cactus, Star Peyote,
Bishop's Cap Cactus, Bishop's
Hat, Bishop's Mitre Cactus,
Hood All a MONK'S but cacti
You name your needs and we can provide them. With an experienced staff working around the clock, you can be sure we will get the job done and get it done right.
Astrophytum myriostigma cultivar ONZUKA from my collection
Scientific name: Astrophytum capricorne (A. Dietrich) Britton & Rose 1922
Astrophytum capricorne was described at the year 1851 from Dr. Albert DIETRICH as Echinocatus capricornis.
In 1922 BRITTON and ROSE recombined this genus to Astrophytum.
Origin: Northern Mexico (Coahuila) widespread in the
Habitat: The Capricorn covers a wide range in the north-east Mexico (mostly in the state of Coahuila) which can be outlined by a triangle formed by the cities of Monterrey, Monclova and Torreon.
It grows in desert areas where rainfall is much lower than in the habitat of
other species of Astrophytum.Neighboring rainfall of 250-
It grows mainly on limestone stations, among rocks and thorny bushes. He appreciates including the protection of Agaves lechuguilla to develop the 1st year.
Common English Names: Goat's Horns Cactus. The Goat's Horn (capricorne) is named for the characteristic shape of its long, curled spines.
Synonyms: Astrophytum capricorne var. capricorne, Echinocactus capricornis
Description: Solitary globular or columnar cactus.
young plants are globular, they soon become ovoid, and eventually columnar
Ribs: Usually 8.
Areoles: In vertical rows along each rib
Spines: 5 to 10 up to
flowers are diurnal typically open in the morning and close
just before the sunset. Sweet smelling
Bloom time: Blooms in summer.
Fruit: Reddish covered with flattened spines,
Sun Exposure: Light shade to full sun.
Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 9-10
Minimum Avg. Temperature:
Watering Needs: Moderate water in summer.
regarded as a choice and difficult plant in cultivation it is relatively easy
to grow. Use mineral well permeable substratum (rot prone). Water sparingly from March till October and
keep perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees
centigrade but tolerates mild frost without a problem as
do all the other common species of Astrophytum(hardy to
Propagation: They can be propagated easily from seed.
Notes: Camouflage: The fine spines of this species are an optical artifice supporting the grass-mimicry to the surroundings.
Astrophytum capricorne and its varieties are very variable in their habit even in small areas. Plants vary in the amount of flock on the surface, in the number, length, shape and color of the twisted spines, and in the size of the stems. And it is understandable that today we often have problems to decide to which population plants belong.
Notes: This is the first species of Astrophytum which was discovered.
It all started in 1827, when Thomas Coulter discovers an unknown plant in the
The genus Astrophytum created by Charles Lemaire in 1839 following the discovery of A. myriostigma.
But our Echinocactus ornatus, having changed names several times (E. holopterus, crooked, ghisbrechtii ...) not join the kind Astrophytum under its current name until the late 19th century, in 1896 under the initiative of Weber . Indeed, its silhouette different from other "cactus-star" has long been away from Astrophytum but Weber believes that the presence of flaking on the skin is also a major character in this genus.
Ornatum Astrophytum species is located furthest to the south, a hundred miles north of Mexico in the states of
In fact, its range extended along the watershed of the Rio Moctezuma and its tributaries. Seed dispersal being carried by ants attracted by nutrients.
It colonizes the steep slopes of the valleys and sunny but is absent plains where the soil is deep and fertile yet.
The annual rainfall is around
According to the canyons, there are populations that
have evolved over time to different forms more or less columnar, flaking more
or less developed, twisted shapes, spines more or less yellow and of varying
lengths.Ornatum species remains fairly massive columnar taking a look older and
whose adult size is often greater than 1m (up to
The locations have been quite difficult to access protected species. However, the construction of a hydro-electric dam in the 90s has greatly reduced the population present on the slopes of Rio Moctezuma (and beautiful Echinocactus grusonii).
In the area of Torre de Rio Blanca (at the boundary
between the state of
There is another population near the Rio and Rio Amajaque Tula, with a more stocky with beautiful yellow spines, is the variety mirbelii. It seems that this is the only variety that is valid for the species ornatum. ( Information was taken from Astro-Web)
Photo was taken from cactus-art.biz
When first appeared on the market the seeds were selling as much as 5 Euro per seed and young plants for 100 Euros.
Scientific name: Astrophytum caput-medusae (Velazco & Nevarez) D. Hunt comb. nov. 2003
Published in: HUNT, D. Cactaceae Systematic Initiatives, 15(4):1-2; 5-6, 2003
The species name "caput-medusae" derives from the Latin word “caput” which means “head” and "Medusa (Μεδουσα)" the Greek mythological woman whose blond hair was turned to snakes and whose stare turn objects to stone, was slain by Perseus. ( The specific name implies: "Medusa's head")
Origin: Mexico, Nuevo León (locality withheld)
Synonyms: Digitostigma caput-medusae Velazco & Nevarez 2002
Description: Solitary or rarely clustered up to 19 of eight.
Stem:. Very reduced, shortly cylindrical, lacking ribs, with papyraceous bristles covering thecollar and the stem apex, the bristles probably originate from the basal rest of the tubercles, the colour of the bristles of tubercles is coffee whit reddish tones, the stem bristle of plants growing in habitat rarely exceed the ground level.
Tubercles: Cylindrical or occasionally triangular
when young, of cartilaginous consistency, smooth, could appear similar in
aspect to leaves, up to
Dimorphic; the spiniferous one are terminals, circular or elliptical, with white wool; the floriferous one are located in the adaxial subterminal portion, separated from the spiniferous from 18 to
Flowers: Originates in the subterminal portion of the developing tubercles, not in the plantapex. The flowers are diurnal, yellow, with the base of the inner perianth segments orange coloured. Outer segments greenish yellow, The receptacular tube displays papyraceous,lanceolate scales, with terminal aristae and short white hairs in the axil; Lanceolate scales with white hairs in the axil are also presents in the pericarpel.
Bloom time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Zone 9a: to
Minimum Avg. Temperature:
Watering Needs: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not over water Suitable for growing in containers
Cultivation: The specific requirements of this new and very particular plant still need be investigated.
In this two years we have done some preliminary observation on a very limited sample of seedlings:
The plants grow very fast either grafted and on their own roots (possibly grafting is not required)
- Grafted plants are very sensible to drought, waterlessness for a few day conduct (especially in summer) to a complete or partial loss of tubercle that dry in a few hours, this seems due to the very small proportion of the stem, and to the fact that the big tap root (a water storage organ) is not present, in fact the plants on their own roots are more stable and resistant. Anyway the tubercles are deciduous they easily dry and detach but are soon replaced by new one (a single tubercle can reach maturity in a few week)
- Young seedlings seem to need some light watering in winter, no damages or rot has been evidenced for plants watered in winter.
- They prefer a shaded or semi-shaded position as they live in habitat under shrubs.
- All the few plant under observation stopped to grow at the end of August, beginning a complete winter dormant. The first sign of new growth appeared only on the month of march.
- The plant are quite resistant to frost (during winter the green house temperatures varied from a minimum of 0° C at night to a maximum of 25° C during sunny days) no sign of damage has been signalized.
Propagation: From seed; direct sow after last frost. By grafting
Notes: Although not currently listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, Astrophytum caput-medusae qualifies as ‘Critically Endangered’ based on IUCN assessment criteria. This newly described cactus is named after Medusa, the woman in Greek mythology whose hair was turned to snakes, in reference to this species’ long, thin, almost snake-like tubercles.
Astrophytum caput-medusae is endemic to Mexico, where it is known from just a single location, and is undergoing a rapid decline. The species is highly sought-after by collectors, and as a consequence is under threat from illegal collection. In addition, the plants are often trampled by livestock, and its very limited range puts the species at particular risk of extinction. Very little is currently known about the populations of this newly discovered plant. The species would benefit from effective protection and conservation efforts at the site where it occurs, while off-site propagation measures have also been recommended.
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Astrophytum the star of the cacti All about cacti Cactus for sale
Genus Astrophytum the star of the cacti. Astrophytum is a genus of six species of cacti. The Common names: Sand Dollar Cactus, Star Peyote, Bishop's Cap Cactus, Bishop's Hat, Bishop's Mitre Cactus, All about cacti Cacti for sale
2. Astrophytum capricorne (A.Dietr.) Britton & Rose – Goat's Horn Cactus
3. Astrophytum caput-medusae D.R.Hunt
4. Astrophytum coahuilense (Møller) K.Kayser
5. Astrophytum myriostigma Lem. – Bishop's Cap Cactus, Bishop's Hat, Bishop's Mitre Cactus
6. Astrophytum ornatum (DC.) Britton & Rose – Monk's Hood
Below is the detailed description of Astrophytum asterias
Astrophytum asterias is a species of cactus in the genus Astrophytum, and is native to small parts of Texas in the United States and Mexico. Common names include Sand Dollar Cactus, Sea Urchin Cactus, Star Cactus and Star Peyote.
Astrophytum asterias Photo from my collection
Astrophytum myriostigma Etymology: The name Astrophytum comes from the Greek word for star plant. These beautiful plants are globe shaped and are speckled with white scales and flecks. As it ages, the plant becomes columnar.
Origin: Astrophytum myriostigma is a species of cactus native to the highlands of northeastern and central Mexico
Cap Cactus, Bishop's Hat or Bishop's Miter Cactus)
dotted) is a spineless plant, usually solitary or with very few basal
branches. A transverse section of the stem reveal a perfect star
shaped form (like the common star-fish) giving the plant the
appearance of a bishop's Mithra
Stem: Globular to cylindric up to 60(-100) cm tall (but usually about 150 cm tall) and 10-20 cm in diameter, bright green, covered with many minute white hairy scales that give it a characteristic chalk-white or silvery-grey appearance, but sometime naked. The scales are composed of very fine interwoven hairs, which, under a microscope, are very pretty object.
Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)
Watering Needs: Moderate water in summer. Needs dry winter rest.
Cultivation: Although regarded as a choice and difficult plant in cultivation it is relatively easy to grow. It is sometime seen as a grafted plant but grows very well on its own roots too. Use mineral well permeable substratum with little organic matter (peat, humus). The Astrophytum myriostigma grows much faster with a low nitrogen content fertilizer in spring and summer. Water sparingly from March till October, the thin, fibrous roots suffer if there is humidity, therefore the plant should be watered only when the surrounding terrain is dry. Keep dry as soon as the temperature starts dropping in October and keep it perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (but it is Hardy to -7°C for short periods) Although it is one of the easier Astrophytum to grow, they tend to rot at that time of the year, if kept wet. In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!! Sun Exposure: Light shade to full sun, its colour tends to richer and darker when grown in light shade.
Propagation: Almost exclusively by seed. Plants are sometimes grafted onto column-shaped cacti. Cutting scions from a flourishing plant is almost a crime because the scions do not root easily.
Astrophytum myriostigma for sale
Ø5 cm for $6.00. New price $3.80 Out of stock
Common names: Bishop's Cap Cactus, Bishop's Hat or Bishop's Miter Cactus) is a species of a cactus native to the highlands of northeastern and central Mexico
Astrophytum ornatum for sale
Ø6 cm for $6.95. New price $5.00.
name: Astrophytum ornatum (DC.) Weber
In: Britt & Rose, Cactaceae 3: 185. 1922
Common English Names: Star cactus , also known as Monk's Hood, ornamented bishop's cap
Synonyms: Echinocactus ornatus De Candolle
In: Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 17:114 1928; Echinocactus
In: Cact. Aliq. Nov. 22. 1838; Echinocactus holopterus Miquel
In: Linnaea 12:2. 1838; Echinocactus tortus Scheidweiler
In: Bull. Acac. Sci. Brux. 5:493. 1838; Echinofossulocactus mirbelii Lawrence in Loudon In: Gard. Mag. 17:318. 1841; Echinocctus ghiesbrechtii Salm-dick
In: Allg. Gartenz.18:395. 1850; Echinopsis haageana Linke
In: Wochenschr. Gartn. Chron. 1873:983. 1873; Echinocactus haageanus Rümpler In Förster In: Handb. Cact. ed. 2 469. 1885.; Echinocactus ornatus glabrescens Shumann In: Gesamtb. Kakteen 324. 1898A
The Astrophytum ornatum is the largest and easiest to grow and also the fastest of the Astrophytums. Spherical when young to columnar when mature, some specimen develop nice twists with age.
Ribs have characteristic cross bands of wooly scales.
Description: A. ornatum is a shortly columnar cactus appearing star-shaped from above, with white cross bands of wooly scales. It appears to be a very variable species especially for the density and distribution of white scales. It is the largest and easiest to grow and also the fastest of the Astrophytums. It is also generally more heavily spined than other Astrophytums.
Stem: he stem
when young , cylindric
with age, 30 to
Radial spines: 5-11 stout, 2-
Central spine(s): usually 1 rather larger.
Flowers: At apex, large,
Bloom time: The Astrophytum ornatum blooms
in summer. The flowers (6-
Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 9b-10
Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 20° F (
Minimum Avg. Temperature:
Heat Tolerance: Excellent in Phoenix in summer
Watering Needs: Moderate water in summer. Allow the soil to dry before watering again. Do not water in winter.
Cultivation: This cactus is pretty cold
hardy and can survive to -10° C (if kept dry). It needs to be at least
This Astrophytum is the easiest to grow and also the fastest. It responds well to half strength fertilizer in summer. To make sure that the fertilizer doesn't encourage growth instead of blossom, it might be better to wait until the flower buds start forming before using fertilizer.
Propagation: They can be propagated easily from seeds.
Seed Collecting: Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds.
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
Astrophytum coahuilense (H. Möller) Kayser Astrophytum coahuilense was dercribed from Dr. Heinrich MÖLLER at the year 1927 as Echinocactus myriostigma subspecies coahuilense.Regrouping some times later from Dr. KAYSER to Astrophytum coahuilense.
The habitus of the genus looks like Astrophytum myriostigma. But if we view the fruit, flowers and woolly flecks so the differences between the to genus become visible.
Origin: South-western Coahuila and Durante (Ciudad Lerdo, Sierra Baicuco, western Sierra Parras and southern of this line up to the Sierra of El Numero)
Description: Astrophytum coahuilense with five ribs, has a surprising similarity to A. myriostigma. However, it is different in all characteristics regarding flower, fruit, seed and embryo which looks like in all details to Astrophytum capricorne. The differences into flower, fruit, seed and embryo and flecks are constant and permit in any case to distinguish Astrophytum coahuilense without problems from A. myriostigma.
Astrophytum coahuilense. Photo from my collection
Nude plants as in the case of Astrophytum myriostigma are unknown.
It looks like the bishop's cap (A. myriostigma), but softer, more grey flecksthat cover the plant even more than with the myriostigma. The flowers are yellow with a characteristic red throat, although can appear pure red or very seldom pure yellow. In the fruit which is red till olive-green coloured and basal opening are up to 200 seeds, similar as in the case of Astrophytum capricorne. This plant is more related to the Asterias/capricorne group than the myriostigma.
A. coahuilense and A. myriostigma when cross are fruitless: they are (usually) sterile by each other.
Stem:. It is a green plant, boneless white dot, three to eight ribs pronounced. Is cylindrical, reaching a height of 70-100cm and a diameter of 10-20cm.
It is a globular cactus, with five ribs well marked and angular, his skin is dark green, but is completely covered with white scales giving a spongy appearance, allowing you to blend where it grows among limestone.
With age it becomes more cylindrical, reaching a height of 50cm and 10cm wide, although data have been reported 65cm in length and 20cm in diameter.
Flowers: Yellow with red throat, blooms in spring and summer. The flowers emerge from the apex of the plant, from to 3 years old, its size can be about 9cm in diameter and are yellow
Bloom time:. blooms in spring and summer
Fruit:. ripe fruit at 26 days of leaving the apex pollinate the flower as Astrophytum Capricorne and expelling tens of seeds (up to 200).
Cultivation: is not too difficult in a greenhouse, although grows quite slowly. The plants need a loose well-drained mineral soil. They need a good amount of light. Watering can be done weekly during summertime, if the weather is sunny enough, with a little fertilizer added. Kept this way, plants will show a healthy, although slow growth. They are frost hardy to -4° (-10°) C
Propagation: By seeds, remembering that seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions and need to be repotted frequently. Eventually, as they become
mature, they attain a maximum size of 8-