Astrophytum myriostigma ‘JLcoll.487’ | ‘Bishop’s Cap’ | 25 seeds
‘JLcoll.487’ is a great form of the Astrophytum myriostigma cactus, collected by French cactus expert and author Joël Lodé.
Astrophytum myriostigma (syn. Echinocactus myriostigma, Astrophytum prismaticum) is a popular, distinctively star-shaped and spineless cactus native to parts of Mexico. Most often known as the ‘Bishop’s Cap’, the species is also known by variations of this name, including ‘Bishop’s Hat, ‘Bishop’s Hood’, ‘Bishop’s Mitre’, ‘Bonete de Obispo’ and ‘Mitre’.
Perhaps due to the aforementioned star-like shape of the species (a feature familiar to other members of the Astrophytum genus), Astrophytum myriostigma is quite a common feature of many public and private cactus collections, adding some welcome visual variability to these often columnar or globular-centric gardens! As a consequence of this popularity, it’s also a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Growing to roughly one metre or so tall and twenty centimetres around, this bronze-grey-green-coloured plant is initially formed of three to seven (although most often five) vertical ribs, with more being added over time as it gains in size. Wild varieties tend toward being coated with whitish trichome hairs, although this is not always the case with the varieties popularly cultivated by collectors. Astrophytum myriostigma may take up to six years before it starts to produce flowers. When it finally does, the glossy blooms are four to six centimetres in diameter, coloured white-yellow-orange and appear from early spring (in the wild) to summer (in cultivation). These sweetly-scented flowers are followed by woolly, red-tan fruits of approximately two-and-a-half centimetres diameter.
As with most types of cacti, myriostigma is easy to cultivate from seed, preferring habitats within USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. Space young plants around thirty centimetres apart in well-drained, mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil, in anything from full sun to light shade (but light shade is best). Despite the species’ tolerance to drought, it should normally be watered regularly, in adequate but not excessive amounts. It also benefits from the occasional application of a low-nitrogen fertilizer in spring and summer.
Astrophytum myriostigma‘s exceptional beauty, lack of thorns and easy growth make this species the perfect choice for either novice or dedicated cactus growers. Why not start some from seed today?
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced in 2018