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Astrophytum myriostigma (Bishop's Cap Cactus)

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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

Synonyms

Echinocactus myriostigma

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Astrophytum myriostigma is a spineless cactus, usually solitary or with very few basal branches. The stem is globular to cylindrical, bright green covered with many minute white hairy scales, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) and up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Usually has 5 ribs. 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 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.

Hardiness

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 sometime 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 is what makes them ideal for bonsai pots and other creative containers on 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 a Bishop's Cap (Astrophytum myriostigma).

Origin

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

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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