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Ariocarpus fissuratus (False Peyote)


Scientific Name

Ariocarpus fissuratus (Engelm.) K. Schum.

Common Names

Living Rock, Living Rock Cactus, Living Stone Cactus, False Peyote, Star Rock, Chautle


Mammillaria fissurata, Roseocactus fissuratus, Roseocactus intermedius

Scientific Classification

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


Ariocarpus fissuratus is a geophyte cactus that produces a star-shaped rosette of fleshy, deltoid to hemispheric tubercles, which have no spines and lie almost flat on the soil surface. It has a large, turnip-like taproot, which lies below the soil surface and serves for water storage. The rosette grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Tubercles, about as long as wide, are tightly packed and form a coarse mosaic. This cactus has a woolly crown, from which emerge bright pink-violet flowers. The flowers are up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and last for 3 to 4 days. Fruits are white or green, with lots of seeds.

Ariocarpus fissuratus (False Peyote)

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USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

You should plant 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 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 your pot's size if you use one.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Ariocarpus.


This cactus is usually referred to as false or dangerous Peyote and has been known in the Americas since pre-Columbian times. It was very possibly used as a Peyote substitute when Peyote was unavailable.

Learn more at Traditional and Medicinal Uses of False Peyote.


Ariocarpus fissuratus is native to northern Mexico and Texas in the United States.



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