Etymology -The generic name "Ariocarpus" is derived from the Greek Aria meaning "Sorb" (Sorbus aria – Rosaceae - is the white-beam tree) and the Greek word karpos meaning "fruit". The Genus name implies: "fruit similar in appearance to that of the white-beam"
Nearly all, if not all, cacti enthusiasts have great admiration for the genus, Ariocarpus. The rugged stone-like appearance and geophytic, subterranean bodies of these plants are not only unique among cacti, but quite unique among plants. In addition, it is well-known that they are very slow growing and so when enthusiasts see a large plant, they can truly appreciate the achievement, whether it was grown in cultivation or in habitat. That said, plants in habitat appear much different than those in cultivation. In habitat, the star-shaped rosettes are often flat against the ground and may be mostly buried beneath the soil with large taproots underneath. Extreme conditions keep these plants looking almost dead. In cultivation, on the other hand, admiring growers create ideal conditions for these plants and they are often grown into plump little mounds of green tubercles. Atypical of cacti, Ariocarpus do not have spines (except when they are seedlings). The flowers come out of the center of the plant and most are pinkish-red or white, but can be yellow. Fruits are non-descript and typically are just dried up material surrounding little black seeds. Ariocarpus are denizens of the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico and South Texas.