Astrophytum myriostigma

Bishop's Cap cactus! On my first trip to Mexico Carl took me to a limestone hill out in the middle of what seemed to be a vast expanse of nothing much. The area was in the rain shadow between two much higher ridgelines and was very dry. The shrubs there were very stunted and few and far between. Even the generally ubiquitous creosote bush was struggling to make a noticeable presence. When Carl got to the hill he said look at the Bishop's Caps. I did not know a Bishop’s Cap from a baseball cap and could only see grey rock and was puzzled and confused, not sure what I was supposed to be seeing. Carl basically had to point at several individual plants before my eyes were able to focus and “see” what I was nearly standing on. The grey-white bodies of this cacti are colored so much like the limestone substrate they grow on that the plants are nearly invisible, thus surely one of the methods of survival and avoiding predation. The body of this cactus generally has 5, angular ribs and greatly resembles the ceremonial headgear that a Bishop might wear. As a young plant it is rather squat and globular but with age grows upward and develops a short columnar body. The plant’s body is actually green but is covered with white trichomes, which give the plant a grey-white appearance. The plant is spineless thus has a wide appeal even amongst folks that generally cringe at the word cactus and is one of the most remarked upon species in our collection. Bishop’s Caps cacti are so unique and beautiful and do not need to be hidden from view in collections, quite the contrary this plant needs a prominent viewing location for all to admire. Tips: They are fairly easy to grow, given good light, ample air circulation and are kept dryish during the winter dormant period. To make this plant shine in your collection make sure to top-dress the soil with a dark or colorful gravel or rock to provide ample contrast to the grey-white bodies. Images provided depict very old specimens. Actual plants shipped will be approximately 3" tall and 3" wide.
Northeastern Mexico
9 to 10
28 inches x 10 inches

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