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Astrophytum asterias (Sand Dollar Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem.

Common Names

Sand Dollar Cactus, Sea Urchin Cactus, Star Cactus, Star Peyote

Synonyms

Echinocactus asterias

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Astrophytum asterias is a small, round, spineless cactus up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) tall and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. The disc-shaped body is non-branched, flat, dark green in color, with 5 to 11 (generally 8) ribs. In the middle of each rib there are woolly areoles. The flowers are yellow with orange-red centers and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.  The green, pink, or grayish-red fruit is covered with dense, wooly hairs.

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Astrophytums are not vigorous plants and they require a lot of patience to reach their full potential. Keep regularly watering and feeding them during the growing season and repot annually to give them space to develop. They need a temperate, dry winter as well, and make sure not to overwater them to avoid rotting their roots. If given sufficient care, they will develop marvelous flowers once they reach maturity. Watch out for common cactus pests like aphids and scale, as well. These can often be taken care of by a good eco-friendly pesticide, or simply wiped away with cloth.

Repot regularly to help them develop. Astrophytums should be repotted at the beginning of the growing season for best results, allowing them to grow into the impressive specimens for which the genus is known. Protect your hands before repotting due to their stiff spikes and lift the plant out all at once, then replace in a larger pot and backfill with soil… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Astrophytum

Origin

Astrophytum asterias is native to small parts of Texas in the United States and Mexico.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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