Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Knobby Ribs

Pachycereus schottii var. monstrosus


The sterile Totem Pole Cactus, used mostly as a specimen cactus, makes an interesting focal point in desert gardens. This cactus does not bloom or produce fruit or seeds. It is a natural mutation of the Pachycereus schottii (Senita) and can reach heights of 12 feet. When a stem breaks off, that portion will root right where it falls. That is how all Totem Pole Cacti come to be in nature. When nursery grown the stems are cut, callused, and placed upright in the rooting medium. The most desirable specimens are those with the most prominent, knobbiest ribs. The one in the photo certainly meets that test.

I am waiting until the weather warms to place this spineless cactus in my garden. I’m not sure where it’s going to go. I really didn’t need another columnar cactus, but I got it at a bargain price. (I use the same reasoning for acquiring cacti that others may use for shoe or clothing purchases!) It can take full sun in Phoenix, but needs some protection if the temperature drops below 25°F, so most any area of my garden is suitable, especially since it needs no supplemental water once established.

10 comments:

Adam said...

That's an strange looking cactus. It's amazing that this plant only reproduces asexually.

Wurzerl said...

I didn' t know this columnar cactus, it is very interesting!Can it be that the white color means that it must have the hottest place in garden? The white Tillandsias need more sun than the green Tillandsias. So it could be the same with this Pachycereus?
Have a good week Wurzerl

Wurzerl said...

Never before I saw this Pachycereus mutation, it' s very interesting!
I cultivate in my winter garden different Tillandsias. The green T. needs more water and prefer a half-shady place and the T. in the same color like P.sch.var. monstrosus need the hottest place in the sun. How is it with this columnar cactus?
Have a good week Wurzerl

verobirdie said...

This one is really fun, and no spine, a dream come true :-)
And the gazania is welcome in winter. Thanks for this ray of sun.

Julie said...

I love this one...it is so smooth and soft looking...on the outer surface...glad it is spineless! The tall cactus like this are just so fun to stare at, and wonder about...they are just plain great!

Tracy said...

Loved this article, I love the learning that comes along with our hobby. Thanks for this one!!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

That certainly is a knobby chap and growing up to 12 feet high, wow! And it's easy to see where it got its nickname from. ;-)

nikkipolani said...

Love it. Where else but in the world of cacti is "knobby" a desired trait?

Curtis said...

That cactus looks so cool and spineless too. No matter if we need a certain plant or not. It won't keep us from buying a new one.

kate said...

I like your rationale for buying cacti - it is still probably cheaper than shopping for clothes and shoes. At least you have something that doesn't wear out or grow out of style.

I really like this cactus, especially with the 'monstrosus' attached to it.