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 Ariocarpus scapharostrus

CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Probably the rarest and more difficult species in cultivation .
 

Description: A. scapharostrus is a slow-growing grey-green, geophytic cactus rising barely above ground level.
Stem: Smaller solitary, subglobose or globose, more or less rounded on top, diameter 3-6 cm x 2-6 cm tall (occasionally up to 9-15 cm Ø in cultivated plants)
Tubercles: Few
divergent, erect spineless , not crowded or basally compressed, bluntly pointed at the apices, flat­tened and smooth adaxially, fissured, slightly incurved, 1,5-4 cm long, 5-8 mm broad, at least twice as long as wide, grey wool between the tubercles.
Roots: Thick underground carrot-like root.
Flowers: Diurnal, self-fertile, bright dark purple , up to 4 cm.
Blooming season: Flowers in the Autumn,
it flowers and fruits profusely.
Fruit: Greenish, 9-15mm long 4-8mm in diameter.

Remarks:
All of the Ariocarpus seedlings are spiny and quite different from adult specimens, though the spines are feather-like.
 

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This is undoubtedly one of the slowest growing
and charming species seldom seen in collections.
It is vaguely similar to A. agavoides except tubercles are more erect and compact.

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Ariocarpus scapharostrus Boedecker
Pubblished in: Monatsschrift fur Kakteenkunde 2 :60-61.
1930

Notes: This specie has been described in 1930 with the name A. scapharostrus, but Hunt proposed to change the name in A. scaphirostris which is the correct spelling.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix I

Origin: Rayones valley (sw Galeana, n Cuaxma, Casillas, nr Monterrey)

Habitat: : Mexico (Nuevo Leon) in a very limited area within a single valley of a few hillsides. Grows in clayey soils on extremely arid low limestone hills at 950-1400 m of elevation.

Etymology: The generic name  "Ariocarpus " is derived from the Greek “aria” meaning “Sorb” (Sorbus aria – Rosaceae -  is  the white-beam tree) and the Greek word "karpos (καρπος)" meaning “fruit” ( The Genus name implies: "fruit similar in appearance to that of the white-beam")
The specific name "scapharostrus" derives from the Latin word “Scaphus” meaning “boat, the hull of a boat”, and the Latin word “Rostrum”meaning “the beak of a bird”
referring to the long tubercles  
(The specific name implies: “boat shaped tubercles”)


A seedling grafted on Opuntia compressa (diameter 3 cm).
 

 



Cultivation
: Plants are slow growing and the flowers are quite rare, it may start to bloom at about 2.5 cm diameter. It is one of the more difficult Ariocarpus  in cultivation, often rots, especially the old plant. The seedlings are often grafted to increase growth speed, and flowers can then be expected within 2-3 years from sowing. It requires a hot sunny position. Eventually, as they become mature, they reach a maximum size of 6 to 10 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 5 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. scapharostrus starts blooming at the age of 8-12 years (2,2,5 cm in diameter).
Propagation: By seeds, remembering that  seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions,  and need to be repotted frequently.

 

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

Photo gallery Ariocarpus 



 

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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