These are much branched shrubby cacti. The slender stems are usually erect at first and later spreading. They have 3 or more angles or ribs. The greenish-white nocturnal flowers are large with a long tube. About 12 species have been described.

Acanthocereus subinermis -

Native to Chihuahua, Mexico. Another possible classification for this species is Echinocereus subinermis. First named by in 1856.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.


A few species have been described, coming from Mexico and Central America, where they hang from trees or rocks.

This Genus was first described in 1860 by Lemaire. The name stems from the Greek "aporos" meaning impenetrable.

Acanthocereus flagelliformis -



This genus has 6 species, which are characterized by their grayish green to purplish gray color, triangular horny or fleshy, usually half buried, umbricated tubercles. Native habitat is the Chihuahuan desert, in limestone soils with rocky fragments. These Cacti are also known to produce a great deal of mucilage. Genus first described in 1838 by Scheidweiler. The name is derived from "Sorbus aria" the white-beam tree and the Greek "karpos" for fruit. These Cactus have fruit similar in appearance to the white-beam's. They have a thickened tap root and flattened top, with a large triangular tubercles.

Ariocarpus agavoides - Ariocarpus fissuratus - Ariocarpus fissuratus var. lloydii Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus

Ariocarpus radices -

( Tsuwiri ) This triangular leaved cactus is also known as the Chautle among some Mexican tribes. The Huichol refer to this plant as one of their false Peyote. It is said that if an un-pure person seeks Peyote, the spirits will lead him to this plant, and it will cause madness to befall him if ingested. The Mexican Indians consider it dangerous, capable of deception and sorcery.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.

Ariocarpus retusus -


Ariocarpus scapharostrus -

Native to Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Contains: hordenine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, N-methyl-4-methoxy-phenethylamine, N-methyltyramine.

Ariocarpus trigonus


There are only four known species of this oddly shaped, generally spineless Cacti. This genus was once included under Echinocactus. Plants are native to a large area from Southern Texas to Northern Mexico. Name is derived from the Greek "astron" for star, and "phyton" for plant. The Genus was established by Lemaire in 1839.

Astrophytum asterias - Astrophytum capricorne -  Astrophytum myriostigma



Austrocylindropuntia salmiana -

Also known as Opuntia salmiana. Native to Southern Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

Reported to contain unspecified alkaloids.


This Genus was first described in 1929 by Boedeker. Until 1992 there was considered to be only one species of this genus, until the discovery of A. hintonii.

Aztekium ritteri -

It is a flattened globular species which clusters very slowly. Individual heads rarely exceed 5 cm in diameter and they have creased apperance. The body colour varies from pale green to greyish-green. The centre of the plant has plenty of white wool and the areoles are very small bearing up to three minute weak spines. The flowers are just under 1 cm in diameter with white petals and pinkish sepals. These are produced very freely even on plants which are no more than 1 cm in diameter. The tiny berry like fruits are pink and when ripe they dry up slitting irregurlary, whereby the dust like seeds are scattered in the white wool of the crown of the plant.

Adult plants require a well drained soil mixture and can only be watered freely during the hottest months. In winter plants should be left dry but are safe at 5 C

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A sacred plant to many Mexican tribes. Due to over harvesting and habitat destruction this Cactus is now, sadly almost extinct in the wild. A small 2 cm plant with 9 - 11 ribs and convolutions, also bearing whitish pink flowers. The plant appears similar in appearance to the styles of certain Aztec sculpture due to its form. This is a very slow growing cactus taking up to two years just to reach 3 mm in diameter. Native to Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Needs course sandy soil, and to be kept above 50 degrees. Should be grown in full sun.

Contains: N-methyltyramine Hordenine Anhalidine Mescaline N,N-3,4dimethoxy PHA Pellotine 3-methoxytyramine


Azureocereus ayacuchensis -

This species may possibly also be classified as a Browningia hertingiana. Native to the Rio Mantaro Valley of Northern Peru.

Contains: tyramine