Sunday, January 25, 2009

Astrophytum caput medusae

First described as Digitostigma caput medusae, this plant clearly belongs to the Genus Astrophytum. Discovered as recently as 28 August 2001 and described in 2002. The cactus on the left is not a normal plant as the tubercles are much more succulent.

I am not sure if this is a hybrid or whether it is just a freak. I aquired it from eBay. Compare the tubercles with that of a normal plant (see below left). Probagation is by seed or by tubercle grafting. Each seed pod produces few seed. The tubercles are very easy to graft.

The name caput medusa refers to the thin long tubercles resembling the Greek Mythological woman Medusa whose hair was turned to snakes.

When first appeared on the market the seeds were selling as much as 5 Euro per seed and young plants for 100 Euros.

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