Astrophytum asterias “super Kabuto”
Astrophytum asterias cv. Superkabuto
A. asterias “Super Kabuto” is a nursery produced cultivars; the existent forms are mainly selected by japanese gardeners.
Characteristic of this cactacea is the densly maculate appearance due to the mosaic of extensive white spots on its epidermis. Different forms of “Super Kabuto” are distincted by the different patterns formed by the spots: they range from the “white-type” (enterely white), to the “Snow-type” (with woolly spots), to the “zebra-type”.
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. The epidermis of “Superkabuto” is stiffer than in the normal Asterias and cracks easily if the plant get overwatered. To avoid root rot, keep it dry from the beginning of autumn to the end of winter. It is hardy to -5°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 be easily done by seeds: anyway, it is necessary to avoid strong lights and dry conditions.
“Super Kabuto” probably is a specimen of a mutated form of Astrophytum asterias, imported to Japan from an American garden centre in 1981 by Mr. Masaomi Takeo.