Living Rocks of Mexico
Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus
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Original Publication

Anhalonium kotschoubeyanum Lemaire, (1842) Bull. Cercle. Confer. Hort. Dep. Seine.

First published as a species of Ariocarpus by Schumann in 1894.

Ariocarpus sulcatus Schumann K. (1894) in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3, 6a:195

The name was corrected by Schumann in 1898.

Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus Schumann K. (1898) in Engler, Bot. Jahrb. 24:544.



Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus elephantidens A. kotschoubeyanus 'elephantidens', the larger growing southern form of the species.


Plant dark olive-green, seldom rising above ground level, subglobose, flattened on top, depressed centrally, 1-3 cm high, 2-7 cm in diam.; tubercles laterally divergent, elongate basally, becoming broadly triangular and flattened in the distal portion, usually acute at the apices, flattened adaxially and slightly fissured, 5-13mm 15mm long, 3-10mm wide, nearly as broad as long; areoles central longitudinal grooves on the adaxial surfaces of the tubercles, woolly, 1-3 mm wide, 5-10 mm long; flowers 1.5-2.5cm in diam., 1.8-2.5cm long; outer perianth parts magenta or white, 1.5-2.3cm long, 3-6mm broad; inner perianth parts magenta or white 1.4-2.1 cm long, 4-6mm broad; pistil rarely exserted above the stamens; style 1.4-1.6cm long; stigmas 4-6, 1-2mm long; fruit reddish to pinkish, 5-18mm long, 1-3mm in diam.

Distribution (Map)

Very widely distributed as a large number of discrete populations, generally on limestone derived gypsum silt plains and hills, at elevations of around 1000-1400 metres. The distribution extends over 600 km, from central Coahuila in the north to Queretaro in the south, and the species is also found in the states of Zacatecus, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. The northern populations are characterized by a form, which has become known as A. kotschoubeyanus. var. macdowellii, this is found to the west and east of Parras with a range of over 100km from Viesca to Estatcion Marte in Coahuila. A. kotschoubeyanus. var. macdowellii is a smaller plant than the type, with small beak-like tubercles and pale mauve flowers, often with a high white content in the outer petals. In contrast the most southerly form found in the area around

Vista Hermosa in Queretaro, and known as A. kotschoubeyanus var. elephantendens, is a much larger plant with larger, highly textured, triangulate tubercles, and a deep purple flower with little or no white content. In Tamaulipas another small growing form of the species occurs with almost white flowers, this has been described as A. kotschoubeyanus var. albiflorus.  The type species, which is the earliest described and the most studied and documented form, is intermediate between all the above forms and is to be found off highway # 80, between El Huisache Junction and Santo Domingo. As with most other widely distributed species of this Genus there appears to be geographical clines, in this case a north - south cline and a west - east cline.


Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus macdowellii

A. kotschoubeyanus 'macdowellii, the smaller tubercled Northerly form




Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus albiflorus

A. kotschoubeyanus 'albiflorus' flowering in September.


All forms and varieties of this species are worthy of cultivation and help give a feeling of the effect of habitat geographies. The plants are of easy cultivation in a  mineral gritty, clay loam, limestone compost.  A. kotschoubeyanus flowers reliably from mid-August onwards, and is easy to set seed on, it produces some interesting hybrids with other Ariocarpus species.

Field Numbers

A full listing of all associated field data can be found on the field number reference pages.

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