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Aztekium





    Native to a small region in the Mexican Sierra Madre, This genus of extremely rare cacti consists of only two species, A. ritteri and A. hintonii. Aztekium ritteri is unique in the cactacea family in having both primary and narrower secondary ribs. The genus name comes from the resemblance to some Aztec geometric designs. Aztekium only grows in cracks in steep cliff faces filled with gypsum or limestone gravel and silt. The plants can look quite gnarly in the wild but carefully cultivated specimens are quite beautiful. Both species offset slowly but generously in cultivation.
    Because of the difficulty of cultivation Aztekiums are most often grafted to hardier stock, but with some care can be grown on their own roots. Unless grafted, grow Aztekium in a very loose mix of mostly limestone chips or if available, gypsum. Water carefully from below in summer and keep nearly totally dry in winter. If grafted the plants can take a little more water and standard cactus mix. Just remember the graft stock is also a cactus and will rot if over watered. Provide shade from midday through the afternoon. A little morning sun is OK. If successful you'll have tiny, white or pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers atop the plants intermittently throughout the spring and summer.

I have grafted specimens of both Aztekiums.
Click on a thumbnail below.


Aztekium ritteri
Aztekium hintonii
All images and text are copyright 2005-Present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.