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Ariocarpus fissuratus CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Ariocarpus fissuratus
, diameter 12cm (36 years old)
 

Description: A. fissuratus is a geophyte plant that produces a star-shaped rosette of fleshy, deltoid to hemispheric tubercles, which have no spines and lie almost flat on the soil surface. They are usually solitary, rarely giving rise to side shoots from old areoles, they grow extremely slowly, to 20 cm in diameter.
Tubercles: The tubercles, about as long as wide, are closely packed and form a coarse mosaic. Exposed faces of tubercles, deeply fissured on either side of the central areolar groove, are coarsely rugose, and are often sharply angled apically;  and with a lateral longitudinal furrow on each side of the tubercle, along the edge.
Areoles: The
areoles are up to 3 mm wide, sometimes confined to middle of tubercle faces instead of extending to tips.
Roots: Each plant has a large turnip-like taproot, which lies below the soil surface and serves for water storage.
Flowers: These plants have a  woolly  crown, from which emerge bright pink-violet flowers up to 2.5-5 cm, 2 times wider than long when fully expanded. Flowers last for 3 to 4 days.
Blooming season: October, November.
Fruits: white or green, with lots of seed.
 


A young specimen (10 years old) in the transition between  subadult and adult phase. 


A blooming specimen (about 13 years old )
This is one of the slowest growing species


A. fissuratus SB413 Brewster co, Texas, USA


A. fissuratus SB413 Brewster co, Texas, USA

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Photo & Copyright by Gianluca Scibilia (Italy)


Photo & Copyright by Gianluca Scibilia (Italy)

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( Photo and Copyright by Marco Antonio Arroyo - Mexico )


( Photo and Copyright by Marco Antonio Arroyo - Mexico )

The tubercles resemble the colours and patterns of the soil surface, and act like they're limestone chips.

Cultivation is not too difficult in a greenhouse, although A. fissuratus grows extremely slowly. The plants need deep pots to accommodate the napiform unit formed by the stem base and the rootstock  (or they will often simply crack your pots), , and a loose mineral soil with a well-drained substrate. They need a good amount of light, a place near the roof of the greenhouse helps drying the pot after watering. This can be done weekly during the summertime, if the weather is sunny enough, with a little fertilizer added.  Kept this way, plants will show a healthy, although slow growth. They are frost hardy to -10C


Propagation: By seeds, remembering that  seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions,  and need to be repotted frequently. Eventually, as they become mature, they reach a maximum size of 25 to 27 cm. However, old plants become senile and have a tendency to succumb to disease and a weak root system. At this stage, as is well known, they die suddenly. So, after they reach 20 cm in diameter grow them slowly, and adopt a new repotting period, using intervals of every 2 - 3 years. Additionally grow them under drier conditions or with stronger sunlight. Plants are often grafted to accelerate growth, as they would generally take at least a decade to reach maturity on their own.  But the grafted plants are typically rather tall- growing, compared with plants on their own roots, that are usually flatter to the ground.  A. fissuratus starts blooming at the age of 8-12 years.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name: Ariocarpus fissuratus (Engelm.) K. Schum.

Origin: USA (Texas, New Mexico), northern Mexico (Coahuila, Chihuahua and Durango)

Habitat and Ecology: These plants are characteristic of dry limestone ridges and low, rocky hills of limestone chips  at an altitude of 500-1500 m among the Chihuahuan desert scrub.
The stems are normally flush and well camouflaged with the soil surface resembling limestone chips in shape, colour, and texture, rendering the plants extremely cryptic. They are greyish-green in colour, sometimes taking on a yellowish tint with age. These cacti are difficult to spot in their natural habitat. When they are found, it is usually due to their pinkish flowers
In times of severe drought, the whole above-ground portion of these plants can shrink and be covered by rock fragments, but the taproot remains alive. Many exist as only small, isolated populations, and are in danger of extinction because they sought by plant collectors. For this reason they are protected plants in the regions where they occur.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix I.

Synonyms:

  • Roseocactus fissuratus
  • Mammillaria fissurata
  • Anhalonium fissuratum

Heterotypic synonyms:

  • Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii
  • Ariocarpus lloydii
  • Roseocactus intermedius


Photo and Copyright by Marco Antonio Arroyo - Mexico )
The mimetic colouring of a plant in its natural habitat in Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila -  Commonly called "living rocks," these cacti usually blend in well with the terrain around them.  Sought by collectors, they can take up to 50 years to reach their full growth of 15cm in diameter.
 

 



Photo & Copyright by Gianluca Scibilia (Italy)
Flowers are rich-pink to magenta, and last for 3 to 4 days.
 


Photo & Copyright by Gianluca Scibilia (Italy)

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Ariocarpus fissuratus/bravoanus  complex (This Taxon has lots of synonyms whit several controversial varieties and subspecies):

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Ariocarpus

The photo of the plant in habitat in this page courteously provided by Marco Antonio Arroyo - Mexico



 

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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti