PlantFiles: Blue Candle, Whortleberry Cactus, Cactus Myrtle Myrtillocactus geometrizans
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Other details: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings From softwood cuttings Allow cut surface to callous over before planting From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On May 14, 2013, real_americana from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:
I read about this in Yetman's book, 'Great Cacti'. He reports that the fruits are tasty, and some prefer a more dry wrinkled fruit, as these are sweeter. In Mexico people also eat them: dried, like raisins, or in jams, or drinks, or popsicles. This columnar cactus has one of the widest distributions in Mexico. Common names in the country of origin are: Garambullo, padre nuestro, and tepepoa nochtli. These cacti can become quite old, possible more than 100 years old, topping out at 25 feet high. As they mature more branching occurs, so that it is just as wide as tall, taking on an extreme candelabra shape, like a triangle with one corner at the base, like a 'V'.
On Nov 18, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:
baiss of NZ said it well. I think he was talking about me!..mine has been kept in worst conditions..small ceramic pot with NO drainage holes. Moss grew around my cacti,it stayed dwarf-inches tall. Kept in hottest summer sun next to a wall. And it even had a rot take out a limb or two.
After all that-for about 6-7 years? It looked good!..this year I planted it out finally. And she's picture perfect.
On Jul 4, 2011, baiissatva from Dunedin New Zealand wrote:
zone 9b, coastal otago, new zealand
Honestly, I find this appealing species much maligned and underappreciated- lopped for grafting, consigned to the special bin at megastores, neglected on windowsill etc. If it was difficult to grow people would be much more fussed about it!
Mine lives outside under polycarbonate with half day sun, never sends me to the ER with puncture wounds or sap poisoning, always looks cheerfully blue and is budding happily. In a little time it will be a really impressive, architectural specimen for little or no care and expense, with pretty flowers and berries etc, which is a LOT more than I can say for many other species.
All you have to do is offer it shelter and keep your mitts off it to preserve the lovely blue bloom, don't drown it with water and give it decent potting mix, to see this underrated performer at it's best. You can shape it by removing buds and judicious excision into something large and special. Keep it under cover and you'll be rewarded with a pristine, wow-factor plant, over which you won't lose a wink of sleep.
On Mar 17, 2004, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
Highly branched columnar cactus that creates its own thicket with all the branches. Grows up to 15' tall. Good grower in Southern California. Some spines but not awful.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Phoenix, Arizona Picture Rocks, Arizona Queen Creek, Arizona Hayward, California Meiners Oaks, California Oak View, California Oceanside, California Reseda, California San Marino, California South Venice, Florida Metairie, Louisiana