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A picture of a Monk's Hood Cactus

Monk's Hood Cactus

Astrophytum ornatum

Also known as

Bishop's Cap Cactus, Monk's-Hood, Ornamental Monk's-Hood, Star Cactus, Ornamental Monkshood

Astrophytum ornatum 2 by Stan Shebs (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Monk's Hood Cactus

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A photo of Monk's Hood Cactus
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A photo of Monk's Hood Cactus

Monk's Hood Cactus Overview

Astrophytum ornatum is a cylindrical to columnar cactus from the Cactaceae family. It forms between 6-8, light green ribs and may have a spiralling habit, typically growing to around 35cm in height outside of its native habitat. It can grow up to 2m tall in optimal conditions on the central plateau of Mexico where they develop woolly flakes to protect themselves from the strong sun. Commonly known by the names Monk's Hood Cactus, Bishop's Cap Cactus and Star Cactus, amongst others. This species of cactus will grow into an elongated columnar shape with deep ribs. It will bear large, showy, pale yellow flowers in the summer and autumn. This plant has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. It needs high levels of sunlight and dry conditions to thrive.

Common problems with Monk's Hood Cactus

How to harvest Monk's Hood Cactus

Generally not harvested.

How to propagate Monk's Hood Cactus


Special features of Monk's Hood Cactus

Attractive flowers

Indoor plant

When grown indoors this plant tends to only reach around 35cm tall. Use cactus or loam-based compost with added perlite & sharp sand.

Other uses of Monk's Hood Cactus

A low maintenance plant that suits being grown in containers for indoor or frost free outdoor locations .