Monday, June 9, 2014

Growing SuperKabuto, or Something Like it.

Astrophytum x  'SuperKabuto'  (Maybe)

SuperKabuto is the Japanese name for a hybrid Astrophytum with a heavy covering of white, felt-like dots.  No one knows for sure, what two astrophytum species originally resulted in the SuperKabuto hybrid.   It appears that one of the species was Astrophytum asterias, but the other remains a mystery.  A single plant was found in a U.S. nursery by a Japanese collector, who took the plant to Japan and began breeding it with other astrophytums.  The result has been a vast collection of plants with many different patterns and coverings of white felt patches on a globular astrophytum body.  The original SuperKabuto hybrid has begat many, many other hybrids, most with their own particular beauty.  My collection of SuperKabuto like plants began with several packs of seed, all promised by the sellers to be from SuperKabuto hybrid plants.  Not all the seed produced SuperKabuto like plants, but some did, and those were grown to flowering size and now my cross pollination has begun and hopefully I'll produce something new and different.

Shown below is one of my plants grown from that first batch of purchased seed.  It has started flowering and if I have another astrophytum flowering at the same time, I'll use my small paint brush to transfer pollen from each flower to the other.  If I'm lucky and either or both of the plants produce fruit and seed, I'll have my second generation of SuperKabuto like plants. 

The great fun and excitement of cross pollinating plants and planting the resulting seed is that you never know what is going to show up in the seedling pot.  Yes, most of the time it is nothing special,  but every now and then....Wow.


  1. Thank you Marla. They are neat looking plants. They have nice flowers and no spines. When you grow from seed, everyone seems to have a slightly different pattern. I really enjoy growing them.