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Astrophytum ornatum 3.jpg
Astrophytum ornatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Astrophytum

A. asterias
A. capricorne
A. caput-medusae
A. coahuilense
A. myriostigma
A. ornatum[2]

Astrophytum is a genus of six species of cacti, native to North America.[2]

These species are sometimes referred to as living rocks, though the term is also used for other genera, particularly Lithops (Aizoaceae). The generic name is derived from the Greek words άστρον (astron), meaning "star," and φυτόν (phyton), meaning "plant."


Seedlings of Astrophytum spp.
A ripe fruit of A. caput-medusae with seeds and testa showing


The genus has several synonyms:

  • Astrophyton Lawr., orth. var.
  • Digitostigma Velazco & Nevárez
  • Maierocactus E.C.Rost[1]

There are a number of species synonyms sometimes seen:

Name Synonym of
Astrophytum columnare Astrophytum myriostigma
Astrophytum crassispinoides Astrophytum capricorne var. crassispinoides
Astrophytum glabrescens Astrophytum ornatum
Astrophytum niveum Astrophytum capricorne var. niveum
Astrophytum nuda Astrophytum myriostigma var. nudum
Astrophytum prismaticum Astrophytum myriostigma
Astrophytum senile Astrophytum capricorne
Astrophytum tulense Astrophytum myriostigma


  1. ^ a b "Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-02-23. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b c "Species Records of Astrophytum". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-08-08. 

External links[edit]