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Visionary Cactus Guide

Ariocarpus

This genus has 6 species, which are characterized by their grayish green to purplish gray color, triangular horny or fleshy, usually half buried, umbricated tubercles. Native habitat is the Chihuahuan desert, in limestone soils with rocky fragments. These Cacti are also known to produce a great deal of mucilage. Genus first described in 1838 by Scheidweiler. The name is derived from "Sorbus aria" the white-beam tree and the Greek "karpos" for fruit. These Cactus have fruit similar in appearance to the white-beam's.

A. agavoides -

Native to Tampaulipas, Mexico.

Contains: N,N-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-phenethylamine, hordenine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine.

A. fissuratus -

( Chaute ) This flattened green plant is also called living rock, or dry whiskey as it can be made into an intoxicating drink. Also called Peyote cimarron. It is a powerful teacher, and is considered by many to be more potent than even Peyote. Sacred to the Tarahumare, who value it for witchcraft, and the Huichols, who consider it evil and a source of permanent insanity. Native to northern and central Mexico. An extremely slow growing, very rare, hardy cactus that survives off of desert mists in the wild. Mature plants reach only 15 cm in diameter after 20 years of growth. Also classified as Mammillaria fissurata. Consumed fresh or made into a drink by crushing in water.

This species is suited only to special greenhouse growing conditions, offering full, blazing sunlight. Plant in half loam and half perlite or sharp sand. Don't water at all during its dormant period, and watch for mealy bug infestations. Blooms in late autumn to winter with pink flowers, sprouting from the plants center.

Contains: hordenine, N-methyltyramine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine.

A. kotschoubeyanus ( Lemaire ) -

( Pata De Venado ) A rare slow growing dwarf species that is only 5 cm across when mature. Only discovered in 1840 by Karwinsky von Karvin. These plants were popular in Europe at the time and sold for up to $200, a lot of money back then. Native Indians still use the fine mucilage from this plant as a glue to repair broken pottery. In their native habitat the plants are nearly invisible, half buried in the gravel and are covered in a horny epidermis. These Cacti are characterised by pointed, triangular tubercles, grayish green in color with a felted base. They have a very thick taproot and can be propagated from side shoots. Native to north central Mexico.

Very slow growing. Need strong sunlight and unrestricted root space. Will tolerate mild cold if kept dry. Propagated from the shoots of older plants.

Contains: hordenine, N-methyltyramine.

A. fissuratus var. lloydii ( Rose ) -

Contains: hordenine, N-methyltyramine

A. radices -

( Tsuwiri ) This triangular leaved cactus is also known as the Chautle among some Mexican tribes. The Huichol refer to this plant as one of their false Peyote. It is said that if an un-pure person seeks Peyote, the spirits will lead him to this plant, and it will cause madness to befall him if ingested. The Mexican Indians consider it dangerous, capable of deception and sorcery.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

A. retusus - (also possibly A. confusus, see Cactus-Art.biz)

Native to San Louis Potos, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Contains: hordenine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, N-methyl-4-methoxy-phenethylamine.

A. scapharostrus -

Native to Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Contains: hordenine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, N-methyl-4-methoxy-phenethylamine, N-methyltyramine.

A. trigonus ( Weber ) -

( Pezuna De Venado ) A rare Cactus with long, greenish-grey, trianular, upright tubercles that make the plant look something like a crown. The adults of this species are spineless, and are 13 cm wide when mature, and have a taproot like a carrot. They have pale yellow flowers in the late autumn to winter. Native to northeast Mexico.

These Cacti do well under strong light or in a greenhouse. Water very sparingly, and do not allow the plants to be crowded in their pots, don't let the plants touch the rim. Difficult to propagate and are prone to bacterial and fungal rot. Needs porous soil and is slow growing.

Contains: hordenine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, N-methyltyramine.