Astrophytum coahuilense


Astrophytum myriostigma subs. coahuilense
Astrophytum myriostigma var. coahuilense
Astrophytum myriostigma var. coahuilense-pubesente
Echinocactus myriostigma subs. coahuilensis
Astrophytum coahuilense f. cristatum
Astrophytum coahuilense f. tricostatum
Astrophytum coahuilense cv. Sankaku Hakuranpo-gyoku


Astrophytum coahuilense is endemic in the south-westernpart of the states of Coahuila and Durante (Mexico). It usually grows in sun-exposed areas, as sunny south and east slopes on lime formations, or in xerophytic shrublands with other cactus species.


Astrophytum coahuilense is a five-ribbed cactus looking very similar to A. myriostigma, but it present some peculiarities: its shape goes from cylindrical to globose while growing; it can get up to 100 cm tall and 20 cm wide; its yellow flowers have a red throat (but sometimes they can be completely red or pure yellow); its epidermis is soft due to greyish hairy flecks that cover it enterily.


This cactus is an easy-to-grow one, but it needs a lot of time to grow. To avoid root rot, use a mineral, well-drained soil. Water sparingly from March till October, letting the soil getting dry before watering again; you can add a little low nitrogen fertilizer. To avoid root rot, keep it dry from the beginning of autumn to the end of winter. It is theorically hardy to -4°C, but during cold months keep it in a cool place. It needs a good amount of sunlight, so it does well from full sun to light shade.


Propagation can be done easily by seeds: be careful not to let the soil get too dry, and repot them regularly and frequently.


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.
When A.coahulense grows fruits, these are red till olive-green coloured and basal opening, containing up to 200 seeds.

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