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Monk's Hood
Scientific Name: Astrophytum ornatum (De Candolle) Weber ex Britt. Rose
Synonym: Astrophytum ornatum var. spirale, Astrophytum virens, Astrophytum glabrescens, Echinocactus ornatus, Astrophytum ornatum var. virens
Family: Cactaceae
Monk's Hood (Astrophytum  ornatum)
Photo by Terry Hewitt, Hollygate Nursery
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 11-13,18-21
USDA: 9b-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 20° F (-6°C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Heat Tolerance: Excellent in Phoenix in summer

Sun Exposure: Light shade

Origin: Mexico (Querétaro, Hidalgo)

Growth Habits: Solitary columnar cactus, up to 4 feet tall (1.2 m), 6 inches in diameter (15 cm); usually 8 ribs; 1 central spine; 5 to 10 radials

Watering Needs: Moderate water in summer. Allow the soil to dry before watering again. Do not water in winter.

Propagation: Seeds that germinate rapidly. Some cultivars are grafted. They take up to 6 years to bloom.

The Astrophytum ornatum is the largest and one of the easiest to grow of the Astrophytums. It has 5 to 8 ribs (generally 8) and areoles have 5 to 11 brownish yellow spines, over 1 inch long (2.5 cm).

Monk's Hood (Astrophytum  ornatum)

Monk's Hood (Astrophytum  ornatum)

Cultural Practices:
This Astrophytum is the easiest to grow and also the fastest. It responds well to half strength fertilizer in summer. To make sure that the fertilizer doesn't encourage growth instead of blossom, it might be better to wait until the flower buds start forming before using fertilizer.

Blooming Habits:
The Astrophytum ornatum blooms in summer. The 2.5 inch wide flowers (6 cm) are pale yellow and scented. It needs to be 6 inches tall to bloom (15 cm). This might take six years or more depending on the length of its growing period in your local conditions.

Fruiting Habits:

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site

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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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