A picture of a Arctopus


Arctopus spp.

Arctopus echinatus P1030650 by Amrum (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Full Sun


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Arctopus

A photo of Arctopus
A photo of Arctopus
A photo of Arctopus
A photo of Arctopus
A photo of Arctopus

Arctopus Overview

Small genus with just 3 species of stemless, perennial plants with thick rootstocks. This genus is termed dioecious and thus produces male and female flowers on individual plants. Originating from Southern Africa, all species in this genus are found in the Northern, Western and Eastern Capes. These interesting African flora are not found anywhere else in the world. They grow close to the ground, forming a spreading rosette of oval, lobed leaves which are covered in bristles and possess spines on the upper surface. Male and female specimens have similar flowers which differ in the number of spine-tipped modified leaves (bracts) surrounding them, 5-7 around male flowers and 4 or 5 fused bracts around female flowers. They are also slightly different colours, male flowers cream and female flowers green-white. The flowers are produced in umbel structures, stalked for male blooms and stemless for female blooms. These lead onto brown, spiny fruits.