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The genus Aztekium contains only two species of small globular cactus. Discovered in 1929 by F. Ritter, in Rayones, Nuevo León, Mexico, this genus was thought to be monotypic (with Aztekium ritteri) until a second species (Aztekium hintonii) was discovered by George S. Hinton, in Galeana, Nuevo León in 1991.
Additional recommended knowledge
This genus is found only in Mexico and is native to the state of Nuevo León. Though these two species are much sought after, there remain millions of plants in habitat. It was estimated that there were in the order of tens of millions of plants of A. hintonii, and at present most of its range is pristine. Though A. ritteri has been collected for decades and there has been destruction of its habitat, the number of plants in habitat is several million.
Its name is dedicated to the Aztec people, due to the resemblance between the plant's shape and certain Aztec sculptures.
Aztekium ritteri is a small plant (aroung 20 mm wide), with 9 to 11 ribs, which typically have transverse wrinkles. Its color varies from pale green to grayish-green. The center of the cactus contains a lot of white wool. Flowers are small (less than 10 mm wide), with white petals and pinkish sepals. The plants bear small pinkish berry-like fruits. A. hintonii is larger, to 10 cm in diameter, 10 to 18 grooved ribs, flowers magenta to 3 cm. It grows only on gypsum.
These species grow extremely slowly, taking around two years to attain 3 mm diameter. They are usually propagated by seeds.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aztekium". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.