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  Myrtillocactus geometrizans
 
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Myrtillocactus  geometrizansis a blue grey candelabra like cactus of western Mexico bearing a small sweet, edible berrylike fruit.
 

Description: Highly branched columnar candelabra like tree cactus that creates a dense growth of stems growing closely together. In nature grows up to 4.5 m tall, with the crown reaching up to 5 m in width.
Stems: Glaucous (blue grey) Up to 7-10 cm thick. They have 5-8 ribs that are approximately 2.5 cm in depth with areoles about 2.5 cm apart.
Spines: Each areole may have up to 5-9 spines, but generally they have 3-5 spines about 5-12 mm long. Some spines but not awful.
Flowers: Rather smaller (2.5-3.7 cm) in relation to stem, greenish white.
Blooming season:  March. Starts blooming when it is about 60 cm tall.
Fruit: Very sweet, edible, dark red, oblong fruits 8-20 mm in diameter.
Remarks:
Myrtillocactus geometrizans is commonly used as understocks for grafting cacti, (which is considered good and which is considered bad for certain). It's very easy to grow and is an excellent stock for small globular cacti that tend to rot off on their own roots and for slower growth seedlings such as Ariocarpus and Turbinicarpus that do not graft very well onto Trichocereus spachianus unless they are larger size pups. For these seedlings (and almost all other seedlings which are not cold hardy), the grafting stock Myrtillocactus geometrizans is a generally a better choice.
 


Photo and Copyright by Massimo Giannelli (Italy)

Myrtillocactus geometrizans is branched columnar candelabra like tree cactus that creates a dense growth of stems growing closely together.


Cultivation:
They are semi hardy, make sure that your Myrtillocactus are not exposed to temperatures below -4C or they may die, nevertheless it is a good advice never let the nighttimes temperatures fall below 10C. Water regularly in summer but allow to dry fully before watering again. Need a well-drained soil mix with small gravel added to ensure drainage.. During the winter months they should be rather kept dry and water is restricted to only enough to keep the stems and branches from shrivelling. Since they are big sized plants need plenty of space for their roots, repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot. Exposure: Light shade when young, full sun later.
Propagation:
Seeds, cuttings in summer (Cuttings will root only in hot weather. Cuttings must be kept very dry to root)

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Myrtillocactus geometrizans.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific Name: Myrtillocactus geometrizans (Mart. ex Pfeiff.) Console, 1897

Origin:  Northern central Mexico down to Oaxaca

Habitat: Forms forests in some areas of the Chihuahuan desert.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common Names include: Blue Candle, Whortleberry Cactus, Garambulla cactus also known as Blue Myrtle cactus (and a myriad of other names),

Synonyms:  

  • Cereus pugioniferus,
  • Cereus geometrizans,
  • Myrtillocactus grandiareolatus,
  • Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. pugionifera,
  • Myrtillocactus pugionifer


Photo and Copyright by Massimo Giannelli (Italy)
 

 



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This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti