Thursday, June 26, 2008

Austrocylindropuntia vestita F. cristata

Austrocylindropuntia vestita F. cristata
This interesting cactus is native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Sometimes called Opuntia vestita, A. vestita usually forms cylindrical stems. The cristate form of A. vestita has unsegmented, undulating pads covered with a fine white hair. The tube-like growths at the top of the cactus are modified leaves, which remain a good part of the year.

The pads can grow to almost two feet long, and propagation is by cuttings. I originally acquired this species as part of a potted cactus garden, and I have easily propagated several pads from that original cactus. This particular species is prone to root rot, so prudent watering is necessary.


A. vestita F. cristata is not a reliable bloomer. When flowering finally occurs, the flowers will be red. This cactus is commonly sold as a novelty with pasted-on googly eyes, a practice that I find appalling. However, it is easy to imagine this cactus as a hairy little guy with spiked hair, even without the googly eyes.

8 comments:

Claude said...

cool... you always come up with such interesting plants!

beckie said...

Looks like it got caught in a lint trap!:)

Cheryl said...

That is such a weird looking plant....your garden can never be boring!!

Pudgeduck said...

You gotta have just one with fake eyes!!!It looks like it is made for that! LOL

Dee said...

How interesting! I agree you never cease to amaze with wonderful and unique plants! This little guy is so homely he's cute!

Lancashire rose said...

You have an incredible selection of cacti. I get so excited when mine come into flower-sometimes I even miss the event! Your flowers are spectacular. I bet you can identify my cactus that I posted today.
Jenny

Julie said...

Yes, you are right...you sure can see this guy as an...um...guy! With spiky hair! A punk rocker!!!

Kay said...

I have looked and looked for the name of this plant. I also got one in a cactus garden 3 years ago. I love it but, not until now did I know what it was! Thanks.