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Astrophytum myriostigma (Cactus)

The name Astrophytum derives from the Greek 'aster' (star) and 'phyton' (plant) and is assigned in relation to the star-like appearance that is formed by the numerous ribs of the species. Astrophytum myriostigma is a globose plant that can become columnar over time. One of the Astrophytums best known and appreciated by succulent plant lovers for its particular green epidermis, entirely covered with white dots that give it an almost silvery appearance. It can have from three to ten (most commonly five) well-marked ribs, with a well-defined border of white downy areolae, which over time take on a yellowish color. A. myriostigma generally grows on stony soils in elevations up to 1500 m above sea level.  Accustomed to a mild climate, these cacti love sunny and even semi-shaded places (however, during the hottest hours of the day they are not left under the direct rays of the sun).  This genus is very sensitive to cold and excessive humidity. The soil to be used must be well draining, mixed with pumice and lapillus to allow water to drain away, avoiding possible stagnation. If watered excessively or if the substrate is not adequate, the root rot to which this genus is subject can be created.  During spring, large funnel-shaped, entirely yellow inflorescences grow at the apex of the plant. Easy-to-grow plant suitable for beginners.

Astrophytum myriostigma has numerous varieties such as: 

  • A. myriostigma var nudum (dark green stem with lack of white dots); 
  • A. myriostigma var. columnare (the stem has a columnar rather than globular shape); 
  • A. myriostigma subs. quadricostatum, or tricostatum (examples have only 3 or 4 ribs); 
  •  A. myriostigma 'Duoble ribs' (they have some double ribs);  
  • A. myriostigma cv. Fukuryu (can be type A or B, 'Fukuryu' in Japanese means the presence of ribs and additional reliefs, in fact 'type A' is easily recognizable by the presence of partial additional ribs, similar to a horn between the ribs of the plant and 'type B' has additional reliefs that make the surface appear irregular.) ; 
  • A. myriostigma cv. Hakujo (characterized by a white line at the edges of the ribs);
  • A. myriostigma cv. Hakuun (its ribs are partially covered with new shoots, characterized by dense downy "clouds"; it takes its Japanese name "Hakuun" from this characteristic);
  • A. myriostigma cv. Hanakago (with a green stem totally covered by evident ribs that give its epidermis a wrinkled appearance, the name Hanakago derives from this characteristic); 
  • A. myriostigma cv.Hania (Its stem has clearly visible ribs and is characterized by white-marked wrinkled reliefs called Hania); 
  • Astrophytum myriostigma cv. Irregular Ribs (has the classic three ribs to which are added two smaller and more irregular ones which, starting from the apex, are interrupted approximately halfway up the stem); 
  • Astrophytum myriostigma cv. Kikko (it is characterized by its stem characterized by horizontal cuts and pointed tubercles, the KIkko, on the well-marked ribs);
  • Astrophytum myriostigma cv. Onzuka (characterized by an epidermis covered with white dots)

To these varieties we can also add the crested, monstrous and variegated forms.  

Common names: Bishop's hat.