Astrophytum capricorne

Synonyms:

Echinocactus capricornis
Astrophytum senile
Astrophytum capricorne var. senilis

Habitat:

Astrophytum capricorne is native to Northern Mexico, endemic in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Description:

This cactus grows solitary, in a columnar or globose shape. Young globose plants will become ovoid or columnar, up to 1,2 m tall; characteristic white woolly specks covers the plant surfaces. The cactus presents 8 ribs, on which verticarl rows of areoles are situated. Spines are particular in this genus: they are 5-10, 7 cm long, curved and twisted, grey to brown. In older plants, spines get more irregular and fragile. During summer, Astrophytum capricorne bloom in yellow flowers with a red central part.

Cultivation:

Astrophytum capricorne is a slow, summer-growing cactus. It needs a sandy-gritty, very well-draining soil; to grow healhty, it needs very good sun and airy exposure; it is heat tolerant, while it needs to be kept perfectly dry to avoid frosting damage. During growing season, water it regularly once a week, and feed them once with a high potash – low nitrogen fertilizer.

Propagation:

Propagation can easily be done by seeds. During spring, put them in containers with fine, well-draining sandy soil. Seeds can be sown in pots of fine, well-drained sandy soil: cover them with a fine layer of grit and water with fungicide. For the first two weeks keep the humidity level high covering the pots with a sheet of glass; replace it with light shade-cloth, and for the next two weeks mist once or twice a day. Then, mistings can be done every two and every three days. In the end, rooted seedlings can be planted separaterly in small containers.

Curiosity:

Astrophytum capricorne, or “Goat’s Horn” is named after the characteristic shape of its long. curled and twisted spines.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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