Ariocarpus agavoides (Castan.) E.F.Anderson
Tamaulipas Living Rock Cactus, Magueyito
Ariocarpus agavioides, Ariocarpus agavoides subsp. pulcher, Ariocarpus agavoides subsp. sanluisensis, Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus subsp. agavoides, Neogomesia agavioides, Neogomesia agavoides
The native range of this species is in Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí in Mexico. It grows on rocky limestone hills and alluvial plains at an elevation of about 3,950 feet (1,200 m).
Ariocarpus agavoides is a small cactus with a greenish-brown rosette-shaped stem with divergent, often flaccid tubercles. The stem is 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. Tubercles are acute at the apices, flattened adaxially, not strongly incurved, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide. The wooly areoles are round, up to 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) in diameter and 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) from the tips of the tubercles. Spines are usually absent or rarely two. They are whitish and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long. Flowers are magenta colored, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear in fall on mature plants, 5 to 8 years of age. Fruits are pinkish-red to reddish-purple, globose, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Grow your Ariocarpus in soil 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 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 use a shade cloth to limit their sun or move them out of it 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.
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