Monk's Hood (Astrophytum ornatum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Monk's Hood
Give a thumbs up Star Plant

Botanical names:
Astrophytum ornatum Accepted
Astrophytum ornatum var. virens Synonym
Astrophytum ornatum var. glabrescens Synonym
Astrophytum ornatum var. niveum Synonym
Astrophytum ornatum var. mirbelii Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Conservation status: Vulnerable (VU)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Vulnerable

Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Aug 22, 2019 3:29 PM

Spiny green cactus with variable white spots from north-central Mexico. Globose to cylindrical stems grow up to 6-12 inches in diameter. Spines are yellow, turning brown or gray with age, with 1 central and 5-10 radials. Flowers are large and yellow. Fruit is scaly and hairy.

May be distinguished from the similar but generally smaller A. capricorne based on flower color (all yellow instead of yellow with a red center), spines (less curved or twisted, thicker, with a central spine), and origin (on the southern slopes of the Sierra Gorda or in Cuatro Ciénegas, not further north or east of those respective locations). Young plants of the two species may be very difficult to tell apart, but ornatum seems to be more common in cultivation.

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Posted by skylark (JC/NYC - Zone 7b) on Oct 1, 2014 6:16 PM

Most often the plant has 8 ribs, and sometimes the ribs spiral.
Areoles have 5-11 spines. It is cold resistant to low to mid 20F.
It is found in limited area in Mexico, in semi-desert, only in 10 locations - so is considered vulnerable, due to diminishing area of habitat and illegal collection of plants.

It is found often growing on rocks in canyons and can reach a height of 3'-4' in the wild.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Cactus ID please! by alex983 Jan 28, 2020 10:10 AM 3
Any Astrophytum growers? by keithp2012 May 10, 2019 4:27 PM 12
2 cacti ID request by skopjecollection Sep 21, 2018 10:54 PM 13
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_Costero Oct 30, 2020 7:35 PM 8,822
Cactus and tender succulents chat 2017 by Dutchlady1 Jun 10, 2019 6:45 AM 1,215
Good beginner cactus by elbee Feb 16, 2016 6:21 PM 14
Pictures from the cactus and succulent show here in Mérida by extranjera Oct 23, 2012 8:58 PM 29

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