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Ariocarpus retusus (Star Rock)


Scientific Name

Ariocarpus retusus Scheidw.

Common Names

Star Rock, Living Rock, False Peyote


Anhalonium elongatum, Anhalonium furfuraceum, Anhalonium prismaticum, Anhalonium retusum, Ariocarpus confusus, Ariocarpus elongatus, Ariocarpus furfuraceus, Mammillaria furfuracea

Scientific Classification

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


Ariocarpus retusus is one of the largest and fastest-growing species of the genus, known for its slow growth. The stem is grey, or blue-green, flattened, globose, rounded on top, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall and up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Despite its slow growth, often taking 10 years to reach flowering age, the retusus is a desirable cactus for cultivation, having attractive flowers and an interesting form. The flowers are white to pink, occasionally with reddish midribs and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.

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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.


It is found mainly in Mexico.


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