Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Crested Cutie

Austrocylindropuntia subulata F. cristate

No one knows for sure why some cacti form this crested shape. As I mentioned in a previous post about another crested cactus I own, there are various theories, but it appears to be an accident of nature.

This Austrocylindropuntia subulata F. cristate is very fast growing. It started as a small single cactus in a four-inch pot just two years ago, has since grown to fill this eight-inch pot, and has produced several new crested pads. It keeps the little needle-like leaves year round.

It thrives on neglect. I don’t water it often, and have never fertilized it because fertilization will sometimes cause cristate cacti to split. When this specimen produced offshoots, they appeared to be a normally shaped A. subulata, but after a while, the crests began to appear.

I have a normal Austrocylindropuntia subulata that I wrote about recently, so check out the photo to see what that looks like. You would never guess they are of the same genus and species!


Pudgeduck said...

It is hard to believe they are the same species! When are you going to post pictures of your garden? We can't wait to see it!

Julie said...

OK...I vote for seeing sweeping views of you gorgeous gardens!!! Yeah!!! Sorry...just agreeing with Pudgeduck that it would be amazing for us common folk to see (at least me)!!!

kate said...

What a cool-looking cactus! I like the look of the needles.