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Astrophytum myriostigma (Bishop's Cap Cactus)


Scientific Name

Astrophytum myriostigma Lem.

Common Names

Bishop's Cap Cactus, Bishop's Cap, Bishop's-Cap, Bishop's Hat, Bishop's Miter Cactus, Bishop's-Hood


Echinocactus myriostigma

Scientific Classification

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


Astrophytum myriostigma is a spineless cactus, usually solitary or with very few basal branches. The stem is globular to cylindrical, bright green, and covered with many tiny, white hairy scales. It usually has five ribs and grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) and up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. The flowers are sweet-scented, glossy yellow, funnel-shaped, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, and appear from the areoles at the tip of the stem of the mature plant. The fruits are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, greenish to tannish-red and covered with brown, overlapping scales with long wool in their axil.


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

How to Grow and Care

Bishop's Cap is one of the easiest Astrophytums to grow. It is sometimes seen as a grafted plant but grows very well on its own roots too. Like other star cacti, it does not ask for much water and thrives even with a very small, Spartan root zone. They demand fast drainage overall and are downright hard to kill except with excessive moisture and rich soils. Very slow growth and small size are what make them ideal for bonsai pots and other creative containers on the porch, window sill, or balcony. This is an ideal choice for beginners due to its lack of thorns, exceptional geometry, and ease of cultivation indoors.

Bishop's Cap is cold hardy to about 20 °F (−6.7 °C). For best results, it should be given light shade, although it will tolerate full sun. During the summer, it should be given moderate water, but it should be kept dry as soon as the temperature starts dropping and keep it perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 40 to 60 °F (5 to 15 °C). Bishop's Cap grows much faster with a low nitrogen content fertilizer in spring and summer.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Astrophytum.


Astrophytum myriostigma is native to the highlands of northeastern and central Mexico.

Varieties and Cultivars


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