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Hardiness: USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Bright Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping This plant is resistant to deer
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 Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
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 Jun 12, 2012, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I won't rate this plant negatively since it has its place in the ecosystem and would be useful in xeriscaping. However, if you're rambling about in its territory, the spiny foliage will stick to your pants legs and socks. I have observed it to be hardier than the above info indicates and have seen it survive unblemished after temps down to around 15F. And the above info says propagation is by woody stem but it would be far easier to just root the succulent parts in soil like with most any other cacti. This is the first year I've observed this plant bloom (yellow). I'll be posting pics.
I moved into a home 6 years ago and while clearing I found this cactus it was 1ft by 1ft I looked it up and it was a christmas cactus recently a friend asked me about it. Upon more research I didnt see of any growing in california, except mine so far I love it. This year it is about 3ft by 3ft.
USDA has the common name listed as Christmas Cactus and i know it as Desert Christmas Cactus.
This cactus grows in the wild near my home and I have 2 growing in a cactus garden. I love the red fruit that persist through the winter. Around mid-February a bird called the Pyrrhuloxia begins eating the fruit. The cactus, including the fruit, is covered in glochids so i don't know how the bird eats these without getting thorns in his tongue.
The cactus can get leggy & woody but is easily cut back.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Aguila, Arizona Ajo, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona Picture Rocks, Arizona Tonto Basin, Arizona Wellton, Arizona Barstow, California Elephant Butte, New Mexico Las Cruces, New Mexico Eugene, Oregon Bulverde, Texas De Leon, Texas Dripping Springs, Texas Kempner, Texas Kermit, Texas Kerrville, Texas Poteet, Texas San Angelo, Texas San Antonio, Texas Windcrest, Texas