Thursday, November 29, 2007

Austrocylindropuntia verschaffeltii

Austrocylindropuntia verschaffeltii

Austrocylindropuntia verschaffeltii is an unusual Bolivian native that turns a reddish purple color in full sun. This particular specimen suffered some freeze damage to the growing tips last winter, so it has formed new segments off to the side of some of the stems. Normally, the segments are stacked. New stems grow up from the base portion that is under the soil.

Little cylindrical leaves form at the tips, and after awhile, will drop off. Although this specimen does not have spines, some specimens can have one to five that grow from the glochids. This cactus can take cold if kept dry. I will not water this cactus again until mid-spring. In summer, it can take full sun, but it seems to go dormant in very hot months.

Dark red flowers will appear in late spring. With some specimens, the flowers are more orange than red. The flowers can last several days, and are over an inch in diameter, which is quite large for a plant of this size. This specimen does not bloom every year. Last year, probably because of the freeze damage, it did not have flowers. I’m hoping it has recovered enough to burst out in bloom in 2008.



Bo said...

Your part of the country so fascinates me. This is a lovely cactus.

Julie said...

I hope you can post your dark red blooms this spring!!!

MrBrownThumb said...

I had a small start of this plant last year but got rid of it when it didn't really do much to impress me. Seeing the woody growth of yours I wish I would have kept it because I now see the possibilities it had.