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Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus (Seven Stars)


Scientific Name

Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus (Wats.) Gerhart Frank

Accepted Scientific Name

Ariocarpus retusus Scheidw.

Common Names

Seven Stars, Living Rock


Ariocarpus furfuraceus, Anhalonium furfuraceum, Mammillaria furfuracea

Scientific Classification

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


Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus is a slow-growing, solitary, geophyte cactus with tubercles slightly projecting above ground level. It differs from the standard form of Ariocarpus retusus only for its equilaterally triangular tubercles. All the other characteristics clearly show that they are conspecific. The stem is grey-green, flattened, globose, rounded on top, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall, and up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. The flowers are diurnal, white to pinkish, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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 sun. 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.


Ariocarpus retusus is naive to Mexico (widely distributed in Coahuila, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and Nuevo Leon).


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