Astrophytum capricorne is the most spiny species of astrophytum. The name “capricorne”, like the astrological sign (capricorn), is a comparison to the goat. Much akin to the horns of a goat, the spines of A. capricorne are curved rather than straight. The root of the name astrophytum refers to the stars, as in the word “astronomy,” which reflects a somewhat star-shaped appearance that is characteristic of cacti in this genus. It has yellow flowers with reddish orange throats. This species is native to Northern Mexico and is reportedly hardy to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results, it should be given light shade, although it will tolerate full sun. During the summer it should be given moderate water and fertilizer, but it should be kept dry starting in October. An alkaline, porous soil will provide necessary drainage, and watering from below potted cacti so the water wicks up through the soil is recommended. Grafting will also help by lifting the cactus out of the soil where it may come into contact with standing water. Grafting on to faster-growing root stocks such as pereskiopsis, San Pedro and blue myrtle will also speed up growth. Cacti are known to have some of the most beautiful flwoers of all plants, and the picture in our gallery demonstrates that. That plant was acquired from a nursery in Sedona, Arizona.
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