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Ariocarpus fissuratus (False Peyote)

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Scientific Name

Ariocarpus fissuratus (Engelm.) K. Schum.

Common Names

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

Synonyms

Mammillaria fissurata (basionym), Roseocactus fissuratus, Roseocactus intermedius

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Ariocarpus fissuratus is a geophyte cactus that produces a star-shaped rosette, up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, of fleshy, deltoid to hemispheric tubercles, which have no spines and lie almost flat on the soil surface. The tubercles, about as long as wide, are closely packed and form a coarse mosaic. They are usually solitary, rarely giving rise to side shoots from old areoles and grow extremely slowly. Each plant has a large, turnip-like taproot, which lies below the soil surface and serves for water storage. This cactus has a woolly crown, from which emerge bright pink-violet flowers up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. The flowers last for 3 to 4 days. Fruits are white or green, with lots of seed.

Photo via cactipedia.info

Hardiness

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 specifically formulated for cacti. You can buy 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 sun. However, in hot, dry areas, they can be damaged by excessive sunlight, so you should either use a shadecloth 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.

Uses

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.

Origin

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

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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