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Ariocarpus agavoides (Tamaulipas Living Rock Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Ariocarpus agavoides (Castan.) E.F.Anderson

Common Names

Tamaulipas Living Rock Cactus, Magueyito

Synonyms

Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus subsp. agavoides, Neogomesia agavoides

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Ariocarpus

Description

Ariocarpus agavoides is a small rosette-shaped cactus with short, stiff, dark green tubercles. The stem is greenish-brown, subglobose, somewhat flattened, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long, and up to 3.2 (8 cm) in diameter. The rest of the plant is rootstock growing underground. The divergent, flaccid tubercles are flattened adaxially. The areoles at the tips of the tubercles are up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) long. Some individuals lack spines, while others have whitish spines up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. Mature plants, 5 to 8 years of age, begin to produce magenta flowers that are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. Fruits are reddish, globose, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.

Photo by Lakota

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

You should plant your Ariocarpus in soil specifically formulated for cacti. You can buy a cactus mix at your local nursery. Do not use generic soil mixes because they will not provide enough aeration and drainage. Additionally, using a container without a hole, whether it is a pot or a terrarium, is a bad idea for the same reason.

Ariocarpus need a lot of sunlight. However, in hot, dry areas, they can be damaged by excessive sunlight, so you should either use a shade-cloth to limit their sun or move them out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day. In more temperate areas, direct sunlight is fine.

These cacti prefer to be kept at room temperature or slightly lower and in low humidity.

Water your Ariocarpus when it is dry, but then wait until the soil dries out completely to water it again. The amount of time this takes will vary depending on your climate and the size of your pot if you use one.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Ariocarpus.

Origin

It is endemic to Mexico and grows in dry shrubland in rocky calcareous substrates.

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