I am quickly turning my good friend, Susan, into a CactQueen (with strict instructions how to make the mulch work with cacti).
A recent cactus fiend
The monsters once again outgrew their container, and with the addition of two new members to the crew - Echinobivia hybrid ‘Rainbow Bursts’ cristata and Cylindropuntia fulgida montrose (Monster boxing glove cholla) - I decided to make two groupings: the E. hybrid is in the rectangular pot along with Cereus peruvianus montrose and another no ID cristata, and the Cylindropuntia sp. is with Cereus forbesii montrose and another smaller monster Cereus in the circular pot.
Remember this tastyprawn post the other day about IDing the cactus that I agreed was probably a Cylindropuntia species? Well, I asked if anyone else had any ideas. I got one response:
It’s a monstrose form of one of the columnar cactus, possibly Pachycereus schottii monstrose.
I would challenge this based on the following observation: P. schotti montrose seems to entirely lack the elliptical tubercles that are omnipresent on Cylindropuntia and the specimen in the post.
While the lack of prominent spines is slightly problematic, a quick browsing of Google affirms that there certainly are a wide variety of spines or lack thereof. I wonder if I can find an expert to check this one out.
I finally decided to put the succulent plants that I had rooted last summer from the succulent birdfeeder I gave pryorranch and tjpryor for their wedding into a pot together. It should fill out by summer to make a nice little container.
It includes: Pachyveria glauca ‘Little Jewel’, Crassula marginalis rubra variegata ‘Calico Kitten’, Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora sedum’, Sedum adolphii ‘Golden sedum’, as well as an unknown Crassula sp. and Echeveria sp.
Moving these plants into the same pot freed up my windowsill so that I could move the babies upstairs out of the kitchen - giving them much better light. Hopefully they, too, will thrive in the south-facing office window.
Our first greenhouse birthday stop yesterday was Plants & Planters in Richardson. A friend has sent me a few pictures earlier this year, and I wasn’t disappointed by their selection. Outside they have a small, but nice collection of Opuntia, Cylindropuntia, and Agave, as well as a few hardy Kalanchoe. Indoors they have a nice collection of Mexican pottery, but I didn’t snap any shots. Instead, I proceeded directly back to the tropical greenhouse.
The Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, or Christmas cholla or tasajillo, is starting to grow! I did nothing but throw the cuttings (well, “tearings”) into a couple other pots on May 1. They were rough and tiny bits, but off one goes! There is nothing quite as exciting as the growth of chollas. To give you an idea of size, I included a shot from a little more distance with some of my other “regularly photographed” specimens.
Here are a few more shots of theCylindropuntia leptocaulis, or Christmas cholla from my adventure yesterday . It was really tucked away in the mesquite grove and growing around the trunk of one of the trees. Really, a beautiful find - and rare for the region.
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, or Christmas cholla or tasajillo, is the thinnest of all chollas, and is named for bright red grape-sized fruit that matures in winter.
This one is growing in a mesquite grove directly around the tree trunk and measures approximately 4 foot in height. I grabbed a few pieces to root at home, so we’ll see!
(Disclaimer: This cactus was collected on private property with permission of the family. While I will occasionally pick up fallen pads, I don’t endorse removing entire plants from the wild.)