Astrophytum myriostigma var. columnare


Astrophytum myriostigma var. columnare
Astrophytum columnare
Astrophytum myriostigma var. columnare
Echinocactus myriostigma var. columnaris
Echinocactus myriostigma f. columnaris


This cactus is native to Mexico: it grows in stony areas in soil rich in humus; often, it is situaded under trees or between Hechtia clumps.


A. columnare, with his cylindrical shape and its chalk-white appearance, look very similiar to others A.myriostigma; however, it owes its name to its thinner and taller stem. It presents five ribs, and thespecies-typical minutes white hairy scales on its surfaces, but its yellow flowers are way smaller than those of other myriostigma.


This Astrophytum is a relatively easy-to-grow species. It needs a mineral, well-drained soil, with little humus. 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 is almost completely 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.
Because of its peculiar shape, A.columnare is commonly called Bishop’s cap.

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