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  Astrophytum asterias cv. KIKKO "nudum" + "albinum" CACTUS ART
NURSERY

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A. asterias cv. KIKKO forma nuda albina (yellow)
 

Description: This rare Japaese cultivar has raised tubercles along the ribs edges, in fact its areoles stick out with large notches between them, giving them a bumpy look. The furrows which appear transversely on the ribs cuts the continuity of the ribs and the plants appears decorated with a geometrical design which is raised above the surface. When viewed from above these plants resemble a tortoise-shell hence the Japanese word 'Kitsu-kow' that means "Turtle shell" but at a first glace (especially the nude form) resembles some chinned cacti particularly some Gymocalyciums. Usually the young seedlings appears nothing special and looks like normal asterias, and barely shows any trace of saw teeth, but they start to produce the distinguishing indentation and turn into an amazing adult as they get 3 to 7 years old. In general the bigger the "saw teeth" are and the rounder and flatter they are, the better. All species of Astrophytum (excluded A. caput-medusae) have their particular "Kikko" variants.
Stem:
Spherical flattened usually non-branched or few branched flat, dark green. Diameter 3(8)16 cm. Height 2 to 6 cm.
Areoles: round, cream-colored till white hairy up to 6
(3-12) mm) of diameters. The areoles are normally set in a separation up to 10 mm

Spines: None.
Ribs:
Usually 8.
Flowers: Like those of the well known  asterias yellow with a red throat.
Blooming season: Spring to summer.

 

 

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Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name: Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem   forma albina

Conservation status:
Artificial cultivar not listed..

Origin Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
 

albinism, schizochromism  & Variegation:
Albinism:
Every once in a while a plant exhibits albinism (completely lacking chlorophyll pigment). This means that its tissue is unable to carry out  photosynthesis.  The result is a completely cream-white yellow or reddish plant. This plant will be weaker than a green plant, and albinism is generally a fatal trait (it can't produce its own food and it's not getting it from anything else). Without chlorophyll, the albino plant has no way to manufacture the food needed for survival and growth to maturity. This implies that these plants cannot survive on their own roots and necessitate being grafted on a normal green plant that provides food. Some of these albino plants are indeed very popular, and sought after by collectors.
Schizochromism: The yellow or red appearance of some plants is more precisely caused by another aberration called "schizochromism". Here, though, the specific green pigment (chlorophyll) is missing: every other pigment is present at normal levels. The dominant green colouration is lost, but the plant will still more than likely have normal other pigments that give the yellow overall appearance of stems and the red colouration of spines.

Variegation: A variegated plant has sectors, patches or stripes with two or more different colours, even distinct shades of green. Plants with variegated stems or leaves are often attractive and highly prized.  In most species the stems or leaves are normally green, and variegated epidermis is an uncommon mutation, termed a chimera.  A chimeral variegation is due to losing the ability to produce chlorophyll in some of the plantís tissue, so that this tissue is no longer green. Tissues lacking chlorophyll are usually white or pale yellow coloured (due to carotenoid pigments) or red (due to betalain or anthocyanin pigments) contrasting with the normal green tissue. There are several forms of variegation, depending on the tissues that have been affected. The variegation in some forms is unstable. The extent and nature of the variegation can vary, and sometimes the plant will return to the green form. In others it is stable and does not change under normal conditions. Because the variegation is due to the presence of two kinds of plant tissue, propagating the plant must be by a vegetative method of propagation that preserves both types of tissue in relation to each other.

Cultivation:
Variegated and albinos cacti are regarded as choice and difficult in cultivation, but
despite that many of them are relatively easy to grow.  But be aware that they cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to direct sun light (especially during the hottest summer days), so grow them in half-shade or under filtered sun. They are  sometime seen as grafted plants, but many grow well on their own roots, too.
O
n the contrary, the albinos can survive only if grafted on a strong green base.
Use mineral well-permeable substratum with little organic matter (peat, humus). Water sparingly from March till October and keep perfectly dry in winter at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (In general these plants are more  tender and cannot endure freezing temperatures ) In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!!

Propagation: Almost usually by seed. Plants are often grafted onto column-shaped cacti.

 

 


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

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.