Sunday, August 21, 2011

Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose

These are sometimes sold as the "Christmas Tree" cactus and understandably so. Just today at our little sale in the yard, a person commented that they looked like little Christmas trees. Not that this picture shows that off too well... Maybe it's a Christmas Tree farm.
Actually, what it is, of course, is Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose. OK, I understand why they don't push this name in the stores. It's a mouthful. But it tells you quite a bit: Austro (south or southern) cylindro (cylindrical) opuntia (a member of the opuntiads, a grouping of plants in the cactus family). It comes from the higher elevations in Ecuador and Peru and is quite easy to grow.


  1. I love this plant. A lot of Tucsonans grow this plant in pots indoors and outdoors. Protect from winter frost and intense desert sun! But it likes the morning fine:) Rohrerbot Las Aventuras

  2. Thanks for your comment. Of course here in Portland we haven't had to worry about much intense heat this summer - except for yesterday, when it reached 95F. I know - not much compared to Tucson, but we usually get some pretty hot days here, including some over a 100.