ASTROPHYTUM

The genus consists of 4 species, with numerous varieties. The stems are globular, with the ribs very pronounced and covered with minute star-like scales. The plants grow well in a sandy compost rich in lime. Great care should be exercised in winter to see that they are kept dry. In summer they enjoy full sunshine and frequent watering. All are of easy cultivation, and worth acquiring.

Astrophytum asterias. Mexico. The stem is flat and dome-shaped, with 8 ribs, the areoles woolly and quite spineless. The flowers are large, yellow, and reddish at the centre, and appear at the top of the centre of the plant.

Astrophytum capricorne. New Mexico. The whole plant is covered with woolly scales. Ribs number 8. The large areoles contain brownish wool, with a variable number of long, twisted spines. The flowers are very beautiful, yellow with a reddish-orange blotch at the base, and open wide. There are several varieties of this species, any of which is worth acquiring.

Astrophytum myriostigma. Central Mexico. A very popular cactus. The stem is globular and slightly depressed at the centre, and covered with scales which give it a greyish stone-like appearance. The number of ribs varies from 4 to 8. Spines are absent. The flowers develop from the centre of the plant, and are plain yellow, or yellow with a reddish blotch at the base. Of easy cultivation, and enjoys full sunshine. There are quite a number of varieties of this species.

Astrophytum. Ornatum. Central Mexico. This plant possesses sharp, awl-shaped spines, radiating in all directions. The stem is studded with scales larger than in any of the other species, and has 8 angular :ribs, often twisted. The flowers are large and ^lemon-yellow.

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