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Ariocarpus fissuratus (Living Rock, 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 (basionym), Roseocactus fissuratus, Roseocactus intermedius

Scientific Classification

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


Ariocarpus fissuratus is a geophyte plant, up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall, that produces a star-shaped rosette 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, they grow extremely slowly, up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Each plant has a large turnip-like taproot, which lies below the soil surface and serves for water storage. These plants have a woolly crown, from which emerge (from October to November) bright pink-violet flowers up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Flowers last for 3 to 4 days. Fruits are white or green, with lots of seed.

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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. Ariocarpus plants prefer to be kept at room temperature or slightly lower, and in low humidity… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Ariocarpus.


Ariocarpus fissuratus, and the related Ariocarpus retusus may have been used to treat malaria by some peoples in Mexico. The related Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus is used as an external medicine to treat wounds. Certain reports of the consumption of Ariocarpus fissuratus also mention that it has strong narcotic pain-killing properties…. – See more at: Traditional and Medicinal Uses of False Peyote.


Native to northern Mexico and Texas in the United States.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Ariocarpus fissuratus ‘Godzilla’


BACK TO genus Ariocarpus
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