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  Ariocarpus confusus
(Syn: Ariocarpus retusus)

Cultivation and Mail Sale
of Cacti and Succulents.

Ariocarpus confusus SB1426, Marmelajo, Nuevo Leon,

Description: Solitary globose plant, rising slightly above ground level, rounded on top stem: 10 to 20 cm in diameter, 4 to 10 cm tall. The peculiarity of Ariocarpus confusus is that it may develop magenta flowers, white flowers, variations of the two or even bicoloured flowers in the same plant.
Tubercles:  Upright tan brownish/green to magenta/green divergent, not crowded or basally compressed, acute at the apices, flattened and smooth adaxially, not fissured, incurved strongly, 3-8cm long, 1-2.5cm broad, usually more long than wide
Root: Tap root
Flowers: Extremely variable from Cream-white to rich magenta , 3 to 5 cm in diameter up to 4 cm long .
Blooming season: They come in late autumn or early winter.

Propagation: Seed, but will generally take about 6-10 years to reach flowering size, occasionally grafted.

Ariocarpus retusus is an extremely variable species,. Tubercle size and shape vary widely, a terminal areole is sometimes present at the tip. The vast amount of phenotypic variation in the species has led to the erection of several variants:

  • A. retusus ssp. retusus: widespread, flowers are cream or white, occasionally with reddish midveins.
  • A. retusus ssp. trigonus: somewhat less widespread with long sharp tubercles  twice as long as wide. The flowers are yellow (usually), white to pinkish white.
  • A. retusus v. furfuraceus: applied to plants with equilaterally triangular shaped tubercles
  • A. retusus ‘furfuraceus’ var. rostratus refers to plants with a more tapered apex to the tubercle.
  • A. retusus v. scapharostroides plants from the Villa Juarez region of SLP, it is characterized by erect angular tubercles, superficially reminiscent of A. scapharostrus.
  • A. retusus confusus nomina nuda
  • A. retusus subsp. jarmilae nomina nuda
  • A. retusus subsp. horaceki nomina nuda
  • A. retusus var. pectinatus nomina nuda
  • A. retusus subsp. panarottoi nomina nuda
  • A retusus var. minimus is a nomina nuda which has recently been applied to plants from Echido Nuncio,in San Luis Potosi.
  • A. retusus f. major applied to selected cultivated plants with very broad shaped tubercles (“Tama-botan” in Japan).

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Ariocarpus retusus.




Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Ariocarpus cofusus Halda et Horáèek,
Published in: Cactaceae etc. Bratislava, 7: 4, 1997

OriginAramberri area of Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 1

  • Ariocarpus retusus Scheidweiler, (1838)
    Pubblished in: Bull. Acad. Sci. Brux. 5: 492
  • Ariocarpus sp. Aramberri
  • Ariocarpus retusus var. Aramberri

Ariocarpus confusus is a controversial taxon erected by Halda & Horacek in 1998 to indicate the plants of the Ariocarpus retusus/trigonus complex found in several locations around in the Aramberri region. This Ariocarpus are extremely variable in body form, and also in flower colour. Aramberri is located in a valley between two mountain slopes. On either side of the valley one may find population that looks like the typical A. retusus while other resembles the typical A. trigonus, with a range of intermediates between the two. Morphologically, plants belonging to the confusus species resemble either the retusus ssp or the trigonus ssp. However, they are easily distinguished from either of these retusus sub-species by their interesting variation is in the flower color, which can range from white through to magenta, a color not found in any other populations of A. retusus/trigonus. Bicoloured flowers also occur.

This is the classical form of the plant with deep magenta flowers
(Note that the magenta pigment also tinges the tubercles)

Cultivation: This species is slow growing if compared with other retusus forms, but of easy culture in a well drained non-organic free draining soil compost, with ample water during the growing season.  Use of a weak low-nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season can encourage growth. The main threat to their development is root rot. Ariocarpus should be kept dry whenever there is a threat of cold. The appearance of Ariocarpus can benefit greatly by watering the plants from the bottom. This practice will help to keep the “wool” on the top of the plant from becoming matted or discoloured. Need light shade to full sun. Frost Tolerance: Hardy to -10° C

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

Photo gallery Ariocarpus

Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.