Ariocarpus are desert plants that grow mostly in Mexico. These geophytes are commonly called“livingrocks” due to their ability to mimic the surrounding geology and blend in.
Ariocarpus retusus have plump triangular tubercles that create a star-shaped rosette. This species exhibits notable variability in tubercle size and shape, sometimes featuring a terminal areole. It grows slowly as a solitary plant, with the majority of its body beneath the soil. The stem appears in shades of grey or blue-green, with a flattened, rounded top, standing 3-12 cm tall and spreading 10-25 cm wide. Tubercles are leaf-like, outwardly spreading, and typically not fissured, measuring 1.5-4 cm in length and 1-3.5 cm in width. Areoles are commonly situated at the tubercle tips, and the flowers are diurnal, ranging from white to pink, occasionally displaying reddish midribs. Flowering primarily occurs in autumn, and the plant features a taproot.
Like most xerophytes from Mexico, this cacti grows best in a high-mineral mix and requires infrequent watering.
This plant thrives in light shade although it can be acclimated to full sun.
Photographed in a 4” pot
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