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Astrophytum capricorne (Goat's Horn Cactus)


Scientific Name

Astrophytum capricorne (A. Dietr.) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Goat's Horn, Goat's Horn Cactus, Bishop's Cap, Bishop's Hat


Echinocactus capricornis (basionym), Astrophytum capricorne var. capricorne

Scientific Classification

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


Astrophytum capricorne is a slow-growing cactus up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Young plants are globular, they soon become ovoid and eventually columnar. The epidermis is covered with the typical white, woolly flecks. It usually has 8 ribs and up to 10 spines on each areole. The spines are grey to brown, twisted or curved and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. The flowers are sweet-smelling, yellow with a red center and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. The fruit is reddish, covered with flattened spines and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.


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

How to Grow and Care

Goat's Horn Cactus is a desert cactus, therefore it loves the sun and will grow well if provided with plenty of direct sunshine. To young specimens should be provided with indirect sunlight. Insufficient light results in poor growth and unnatural shape.

Use soil with good drainage as this species is rot-prone.

This cactus thrive in average room temperatures between 60 and 75 °F  (16 and 24 °C ) from spring until fall. From late fall to late winter give them a winter rest at temperatures between 45 and 50 °F (7 and 10 °C).
Normal indoor humidity is fine for Goat's Horn Cactus. Provide good air ventilation for healthy growth.

During the active growth period water Goat's Horn Cactus moderately, but allow the top 3/4 of the mixture to dry out thoroughly between waterings. During the resting period give only enough water to prevent the mixture from drying out.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Goat's Horn Cactus (Astrophytum capricorne).


Astrophytum capricorne is native to northern Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids


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