Aztekium ritteri (Aztec Cactus)

Scientific Name

Aztekium ritteri (Boed.) Boed.

Common Names

Aztec Cactus


Echinocactus ritteri

Scientific Classification

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


Aztekium ritteri is a small cactus, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, 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, up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide, with white petals and pinkish sepals. It blooms throughout the summer. These flowers are followed by small pink fruits that open when ripe and let out tiny seeds.

How to Grow and Care

Aztekiums are by far the most challenging and difficult cacti to grow. They are having extremely slow growth, probably the slowest of the entire cactus family. They usually take several years for growth to be even noticeable. Once a specimen is established on its own roots it is no trouble to keep it and becomes an easy plant to manage.

Because of the difficulty of cultivation, Aztekiums are most often grafted to hardier stock. They need good drainage and regular water in summer. Water carefully from below in summer and keep nearly totally dry in winter. If grafted the plants can take a little more water. 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Aztekium


Native to Mexico.


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