Astrophytum asterias (Sand Dollar Cactus)

Astrophytum asterias (Sand Dollar Cactus)

Scientific Name

Astrophytum asterias (Zucc.) Lem.

Common Names

Sand Dollar Cactus, Sea Urchin Cactus, Star Cactus, Star Peyote


Echinocactus asterias

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Astrophytum


Astrophytum asterias is a small, spineless cactus with a stem that grows up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) tall and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. The stem is flat, non-branched, dark green, with 5 to 11 (generally 8) ribs and woolly areoles. Flowers are yellow with orange-red centers, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in spring. They are followed by green, pink, or grayish-red fruits covered with dense, wooly hairs.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Astrophytums are not vigorous plants, and they require a lot of patience to reach their full potential. Keep regularly watering and feeding them during the growing season and repot annually to give them space to develop. They need a temperate, dry winter, and make sure not to overwater them to avoid rotting their roots. If given sufficient care, they will develop marvelous flowers once they reach maturity. Watch out for common cactus pests like aphids and scale, as well. These can often be taken care of by a good eco-friendly pesticide or simply wiped away with a cloth.

Repot regularly to help them develop. Astrophytums should be repotted at the beginning of the growing season for best results, allowing them to grow into the impressive specimens for which the genus is known. Protect your hands before repotting due to their stiff spikes, lift the plant out all at once, and then replace it in a larger pot and backfill with soil. Do not overwater or overfeed newly repotted cacti, as disturbances can be hard on them.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Astrophytum.


Astrophytum asterias is native to small parts of Texas in the United States and Mexico.


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  • Back to genus Astrophytum
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Astrophytum Species, Sand Dollar, Sea Urchin Cactus, Silver Dollar Cactus, Texas Star

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Astrophytum (ass-troh-FY-tum) (Info)
Species: asterias (ass-TEER-ee-as) (Info)
Synonym:Echinocactus asterias
Synonym:Astrophytum asterias var. asterias


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On Dec 2, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Silver Dollar Cactus, Texas Star Cactus Astrophytum asterias is Endemic to Texas and is now classified as an Endangered plant.

On Nov 5, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD,
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

A fair contstant plant in cultivationnoticeable raised ribs usually indicate a hybrid with A.capricorne.

On Nov 8, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

It is a low growing plant and is 3-4" in diameter. It does not have spines. The yellow flower is about 2 inches. The larger white tufts are the 'areoles' of the cactus. That is were the flowers emerge from.

On Mar 26, 2004, PotEmUp from Fremont, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A cactus without thorns, my kinda cactus. Identified as an endandered species on 10/18/93 with a recovery plan written in August, 2003

About Star Cactus

  • Astrophytum species can be excellent companions to other succulents, cacti, and other houseplants. Their colorful flowers can create beautiful indoor landscapes.
  • Sometimes, the Astrophytum cacti are referred to as “living rocks”. The species from this genus are A. Myriostigma, A. Capricorne, A. Ornatum, A. Asterias, A. Caput-Medusae, and A. Coahuilense.
  • The first four species mentioned above are individually known as the Bishop’s Cap Cactus, Goat’s Horn cactus, Monk’s hood cactus, and Sand Dollar cactus, respectively.
  • Star cacti can do well with minimal care as long as they are provided with plenty of full sunlight and grown in a warm environment.
  • Like all cacti, they can store large amounts of water to survive long periods of drought. They are susceptible to root rot, so you need to avoid over-watering them.
  • If you want your Star cacti to have the time of their life, plant them in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom that is filled with the well-draining cactus mix.
  • They require regular repotting and a nice feeding during their growing season. When the winter has settled in, cut back on fertilizers.
  • Generally, they are not poisonous to humans and animals, so you can grow them around your curious family members. But keep in mind that some Star cacti can be pretty prickly.

The flowers of the Peyotillo Cactus.

Peyotillo flowers are about 3 to 5 cm in length, about 5 to 7 cm in diameter, which open completely and with a center coloration, orange or reddish.

When it blossoms, a yellow flower of numerous petals is born, with a center of a more intense tonality, with a slightly orange tone.

The flowering of the Cactus Peyotillo or Astrophytum asteria, occurs in summer or winter, coming to take in bloom 5 or 6 years, like other species of astrophytum.

It gives a fairly abundant and generous flowering. The flowers have a diameter of 6 cm and like the rest of the genus, they live about a week.

Watch the video: Most Beautiful Astrophytum Asterias V type In The World P2 - Rare Cactus Tours