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Astrophytum asterias cv. SUPERKABUTO


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of Cacti and Succulents.


Astrophytum asterias cv. Superkabuto.

Stories and legends:
Astrophytum asterias 'Super Kabuto' with its inimitable fuzzy epidermis is actually the most popular cactus cultivar.
It is easily distinguished from the normal A. asterias by the epidermis, that does not have simple dots, but a mosaic of extensive white spots that make the plant look intensely maculate.
Superkabuto would (probably) come from a mutation that occurred in nature to just one field-collected individual A. asterias found in 1981 by the Japanese Mr. Masaomi Takeo in an American garden centre and sold to Tony Sato at a high price in Japan.
Propagations have been made possible by cross-pollinating this fist plant with other normal A. asterias and A. capricorne (and possible other Astrophytum species too), it can be concluded that all the SK actually available are the result of intraspecific hybridization and SK contains not only A. asterias genes but also a significant number of A. capricorne genes, and maybe others. As a result spiny clones appear rather often and the name Astrophytum asterias cv. Super Kabuto is not quite correct.






Many different beautiful forms of 'Super Kabuto' , which differ for the diverse pattern of the spots are now available. It would be difficult to mention them all: they range from completely white forms ('white-type'), to forms with woolly spots ('snow-type'), to forms with a maculation like the shape of fly's wings ('zebra-type' or 'V type').




Cultivation is not too difficult in a greenhouse, although grows quite slowly. The plants need  a loose well-drained  mineral soil. They need a good amount of light. Watering can be done weekly during summertime, if the weather is sunny enough, with a little fertilizer added. Kept this way, plants will show a healthy, although slow growth. They are frost hardy to -4 (-10) C
Be careful: The epidermis of Superkabuto  is harder than in the normal asterias and cracks easily if plants are overwatered.






Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name: Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem  

Origin Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 1.

The typical hairy scales


Some individuals are unique and inimitable

Snow type
Astrophytum asterias cv. Superkabuto V-type form big dots Astrophytum asterias cv. Superkabuto V-type form
V type

By seeds, remembering that  seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions  and need to be repotted frequently. Eventually, as they become mature, they attain a maximum size of 8-10 cm (20) cm. However, old plants become senile and have a tendency to succumb to disease and a weak root system. At this stage, as is well known, they die suddenly. So, after they reach 10 cm in diameter grow them slowly, and adopt a new repotting period, using intervals of every 2 - 3 years. Additionally grow them under drier conditions or with stronger sunlight. But plants are often grafted to accelerate growth as they would generally take at least a five years to reach maturity on their own, but the grafted plants are typical rather tall growing, compared with plants on their own roots that are usually more flat to the ground.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Astrophytum asterias:

Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery Astrophytum

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