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Origin and Habitat: Japan, Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
Description: This rare cultivar is an hybrid involving Ariocarpus retususus, Ariocarpus fissuratus and maybe other undefined species and cultivars. Tubercle size and shape vary widely depending on clone, a terminal areole is sometimes present at the tip. The vast amount of phenotypic variation in the species has led to the creatin of several unnecessary cultivars names of no value.
Forma aurea (yellow form): The yellow schizochromic form (Ariocarpus hybrid retusus f. aurea) has bright golden yellow stems due to the absence (or reduced production) of chlorophyll pigments: every other pigment is present at normal levels, the dominant green colouration is lost, but will still more than likely have normal other pigments that give the yellow overall appearance of the stem. This form with yellow stems is very attractive and highly prized. This schizochromic form is almost always seen grafted on stronger columnar species, and cannot can be grown on its own roots.
Stem: Solitary, pale to golden yellow or orangish, flattened, globose, rounded on top, 3-12 cm high, 10-25 cm in diameter.
Tubercles: Leaf-like, divergent, erect, basally compressed, usually becoming attenuate at the apices, convex or nearly flattened adaxially and often with shallow adaxial undulations or wrinkling, not fissured, 1,5-4 cm long, 1-3,5 cm wide, nearly as wide as long.
Areoles: At the tips of the tubercles, rounded, 1-5 mm in diameter often only on younger specimens.
Flowers: Diurnal 4-5cm in diameter, 2-4,2 cm long, white to pink , occasionally with reddish midribs.
Flowering time: Autumn.
Remarks: All of the Ariocarpus seedlings are spiny and quite different from adult specimens, though the spines are feather-like.
Bibliography: Notes: Albinism, Schizochromism & Variegation
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 plant’s 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.
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.
Cultivation and Propagation: Variegated and albinous 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.
On 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: Usually by seed. Plants are often grafted onto column-shaped cacti.
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