Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oooooooooh….Blue Ghost!

Since this is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, I thought this would be a good day to show my Pilosocereus azureus, or Blue Ghost. Sometimes called Pilosocereus pachycladus, this cactus, with its beautiful pale blue coloring, can appear almost ghost-like on a moonlit night. As it gets older, the bottom portion can get brown and woody. As you can see in the photo, each stem isn’t all blue. This is a typical appearance for this cactus.

This columnar cactus can reach 30 feet tall if placed in the garden, but it is very frost sensitive, so I keep mine in a container. It makes a nice focal point in a potted cactus garden, planted with a variety of cacti. It enjoys full sun, but it also does well in very light shade. I’ve kept this cactus garden on my patio, and it’s obvious by the way the cactus is curving that it really wasn’t getting enough light, and had started growing toward the sun. It’s now in proper light.

P. azureus has yellow spines, and is winter dormant. It needs very little water in winter. During the growing season, it produces large, white short-lived night-blooming flowers with a very strong, sweet fragrance that attracts moths needed for pollination.

With our large population of Hispanics, Day of the Dead rituals and celebrations are common here on November 1 and 2nd, as is the Dia de los Muertos symbolism, usually in the form of skulls or skeletons. This tile mural of two of the departed celebrating and sipping Margaritas is typical. This mural, hand fired in Tucson, Arizona, is on the wall of my outdoor barbeque area.


Julie said...

Well...2 really COOL things on All Saints Day!!! I love your blue cactus...that is really neat! And your mural is look like you might be a big party girl!!! Crack out the Margaritas, eh???

No Rain said...

Hey, Julie,
Funny thing is--I don't drink or entertain! Too busy doing the cactus thing. I just liked the idea of 24" x 24" celebrating skeletons on my barbeque wall. There are also other choices on these murals. They one I really wanted was a skeleton sitting in the shade of a Saguaro. That one said, "Well, it's a dry heat," but it was too small.

Eaglehawk said...

oh wow, I would love to have that cactus growing in my yard, but oh well I think Houston is too wet.