May 16, 2018 0 Commentsadmin
The stem of the young plant is globose, becoming cylindrical in age and attaining a diameter of 20-30 cm and height of 1 m in its native land. The skin is dark green, spotted grey-white. The 8 ribs are prominent, 5 to 10 cm high, and either straight or spiral. The areoles are 8 mm across, yellowish, felted. The spines, 5 to 11, are straight, yellow-brown to dark brown, about 3 cm long. The flowers arise on the crown, often several at a time, are pale yellow and 7 to 9 cm across. The filaments are yellow, the anthers ochre, the stigma pale yellow. The ovary is elongate, opening when ripe at the top in the shape of a star with five points. The seed is large, boat-shaped and brown
The specific name ornatum means decorative. Astrophytum ornatum, like all Astrophyta, is one of the commonest cacti in collections. It is the hardiest species of the genus Astrophytum although it does not flower as early as some others, e.g. Astrophytum capricorne or asterias. The many forms of this species were formerly imported to Europe in hundreds of thousands. Larger collections often contain Astrophytum ornatum glabrescens and Astrophytum ornatum mirbelli. These characteristic varieties are often spoiled by involuntary or intentional hybridization, prompted by the endeavour to gain the greatest possible number of seeds.