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Origin and Habitat: Japan, Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
Astrophytum ornatum (DC.) F.A.C.Weber in Bois
Dict. Hort. [Bois] 1: 467. 1896
- Astrophytum ornatum (DC.) F.A.C.Weber in Bois
- Astrophytum ornatum f. aurea hort.
- Astrophytum ornatum f. cristatum hort.
- Astrophytum ornatum f. dichotomicum hort.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. glabrescens (F.A.C.Weber) Y.Okomura
- Astrophytum glabrescens F.A.C.Weber
- Astrophytum ornatum var. glabrescens (F.A.C.Weber) Frič
- Astrophytum ornatum f. glabrescens (F.A.C.Weber) Krainz in Krainz
- Astrophytum ornatum f. nuda hort.
- Astrophytum ornatum subvar. glabrescens (F.A.C.Weber) Backeb.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. virens Schütz & Z.Fleisch.
- Echinocactus ornatus var. glabrescens F.A.C.Weber in Bois
- Astrophytum ornatum var. glabrescens f. variegata hort.
- Astrophytum ornatum Metztitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. mirbelii (Lem.) Frič
- Astrophytum ornatum f. mirbelii (Lem.) Krainz in Krainz
- Echinocactus mierbelii Lem.
- Echinocactus ornatus var. mirbelii (Lem.) Croucher
- Echinofossulocactus mirbelii (Lem.) Lawr.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. niveum Schütz & Z.Fleisch.
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Hania
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Fukuryu Hania
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Kikko
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Spiral
Description: This rare cultivar is a selected form of Astrophytum ornatum. It shows a very peculiar rib shape. The woolly areoles on the ribs have a felty line between them so it seems like the areoles are connected with each other.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Astrophytum ornatum group
- Astrophytum ornatum (DC.) F.A.C.Weber in Bois: It is the largest of the Astrophytums. Spherical when young to columnar when mature, some specimen develop nice twists with age. Ribs have characteristic cross bands of wooly scales.
- Astrophytum ornatum f. aurea hort.: Mutant completely lacking chlorophyll pigment. The result is a completely yellow plant.
- Astrophytum ornatum f. cristatum hort.: Crested form.
- Astrophytum ornatum f. dichotomicum hort.: Time by time a plant dichotomize and the stem apex splits in two or more growing point.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. glabrescens (F.A.C.Weber) Y.Okomura: The stem is smooth, dark green without (or with very few) wooly flakes.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. glabrescens f. variegata hort.: has sectors, patches or stripes with distinct shades of yellow or orange.
- Astrophytum ornatum Metztitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico.: The plant from Meztitlan are characteristically covered in dense, evenly spaced white flecks and are easily tell apart from standard ornatums.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. mirbelii (Lem.) Frič: It is recognizable for its canary yellow spines. The stem is stout and very white and take a long time in the transition to the adult form. it is considered by many the most beautiful variety of the species.
- Astrophytum ornatum var. niveum Schütz & Z.Fleisch.
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Fukuryu Hania: ribs irregularly supplied with raised ridges and white linear, woolly areoles. It appears to be a very variable.
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Hania: The woolly areoles on the ribs have a felty line between them so it seems like the areoles are connected with each other.
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Kikko: The stem is entirely split in tubercles, and could be a mutation much like the Astrophytum myriostigma cv. Lotusland, but much larger and robust with longer tubercles.
- Astrophytum ornatum cv. Spiral: It is a tiny finger-sized cultivars with very particular spiral ribs.
Cultivation and Propagation: It is a popular summer-growing species of relatively easy cultivation.
Growth rate: Slow-growing. It needs to be at least 15 cm tall to bloom . This might take 7 to 12 (or more) years depending on the length of the growing period in the local climatic conditions.
Soil: Grow it in an open standard, sandy-gritty cactus compost and provide a very good drainage.
Exposure: It is suited for sunny-brightly exposure, but can tolerate light shade. However it will do its best with lots of sun and become stressed with inadequate light which could result in poor growth and unnatural shape. It has a good heat tolerance.
Watering: Water regularly (about once a week) during the growing season and keep it completely dry during winter or when night temperatures remain below 10° C. Water it less than average if in bigger pots.
Fertilization: Feed them once during the growing season with a fertilizer specifically formulated for cactus and succulents (high potash fertilizer with a dilute low nitrogen), including all micro nutrients and trace elements diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. They thrive in poor soils and need a limited supplies of fertilizer to avoid the plants developing excess vegetation, which is easily attacked by fungal diseases.
Special need: It is suited for airy exposures. Provide very good ventilation. Nearly all problems occur as a result of overwatering and poor ventilation, especially when weather conditions are dull and cool or very humid. ere.
Hardiness: It likes warmth (recommended minimum winter temperature 5° C) But plants kept perfectly dry can easily survive to light frost (it is reported hardy to -12 ° for brief periods).
Pests & diseases: These cacti may be attractive to a variety of insects, but plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free, particularly if they are grown in a mineral potting-mix, with good exposure and ventilation. Nonetheless, there are several pests to watch for:
- Red spiders: Red spiders may be effectively rubbed up by misting the plants from above.
- Mealy bugs: Mealy bugs occasionally develop aerial into the new leaves and flowers with disfiguring results, but the worst types develop underground on the roots and are invisible except by their effects.
- Scales, thrips and aphids: These insects are rarely a problem.
- Rot: Rot is only a minor problem if the plants are watered and “aired” correctly. If they are not, fungicides won't help all that much.
Propagation: It can be propagated easily from seed (seldom produces offsets). The seeds can be sown in pots of fine, well-drained sandy soil, any time during the spring when temperatures are warm. Cover the seeds with a fine layer of grit and water from below with a fungicide to prevent damping off. For the 1-2 weeks cover the pots with a sheet of glass/clear perspex to keep the humidity levels high. Remove the glass and replace it with light shade-cloth and mist once or twice a day for the next two weeks after which most seeds should have germinated. From then on mistings can be reduced to every second and then every third day as the little plants grow. The seedlings should not be disturbed until they are well rooted after which they can be planted separately in small pots. Sometimes it is grafted to avoid root rot problems as plants grafted on an hardy stock are easy to grow and no special skill is required.
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