Astrophytum asteria var. nudum
Astrophytum asterias cv. Ruri Kabuto
Nude Astrophytum asterias may occasionally by found in nature, but clones are a nursery produced.
Astrophytum asterias nudum is distincted by a glabrous stem: it doesn’t present white tufts of loose hairy scales characteristic of the common Astrophytum asterias; however, felty areoles are noticeable on the smooth, green surface og the plant. During cold, dry winter this cactacea get a nice reddish colour.
This is a relatively easy-to-grow species. It needs a mineral, well-drained soil with little organic matter. Re-pot every 2 years, using containers with good drainage. During spring and summer use a low nitrogen content fertilizer to make it grow faster; potassium is helpful for the plant health. Water sparingly from March till October, letting the soil getting dry before watering again. To avoid root rot, keep it dry from the beginning of autumn to the end of winter. It is hardy to -7°C, but during cold months keep it in a cool place. It does well from full sun to light shade – in this case, its colour will get richer and darker.
Propagation can easily be done by seeds.
The name of the genus Astrophytum derives from the Greek words “astèr” which means “star” and “phytòn” which means “plant”, as these particular cacti have many ribs, which, seen from above, look just like stars.