Astrophytum capricorne var. crassispinum
Astrophytum capricorne niveum ‘nudum’
Astrophytum capricorne v. crassispinum nudum
A. “crrassispinum” looks very similar to A. capricorne v. niveum: it can be distinguished for a sharp shape with a larger, almost bald stem; this presents 8 reddish-edged ribs. Spines are 6-8, flat, strong and thick, going from black-brown to grey in older plants. Flowers usually havea reddish throat, but sometimes are plants bloom pure yellow blossom.
This Astrophytum is a relatively easy-to-grow species. It needs a mineral, well-drained soil. 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 theorically hardy to -7°C, but during cold months keep it in a cool place. It does well from full sun to light shade.
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.
‘Kigan’ is a popular Japanese cultivar of A. capricorne v. crassispinum: its name means “monstrous”, and refers to its peculiar appearence.