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Myrtillocactus geometrizans (Bilberry Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Myrtillocactus geometrizans (Mart. ex Pfeiff.) Console

Common Names

Bilberry Cactus, Whortleberry Cactus, Blue Candle

Synonyms

Cereus geometrizans, Myrtillocactus grandiareolatus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Echinocereeae
Genus: Myrtillocactus

Description

Myrtillocactus geometrizans is a highly branched, candelabra-like cactus that grows up to 14.8 feet (4.5 m) tall. Stems are blue-grey, up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. They have 5 to 8 ribs and areoles about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Each areole generally has 3 to 5 spines up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long. Flowers are greenish-white and up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter. The edible fruits are dark red, oblong and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter.

Myrtillocactus geometrizans (Bilberry Cactus)

Photo via wikimedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

In summer, place Myrtillocactus in direct sunlight. In winter, find a cooler, light spot. That will allow it to go well-rested into next spring, which will make it more likely to flower.

This easy-care plant doesn't want a lot of water. Allow the soil to dry out before you give it another drink. Keep the soil completely dry in winter. Need a well-drained soil mix with small gravel added to ensure drainage.

Myrtillocactus are semi-hardy. Ensure that your cactus is not exposed to temperatures below 25 °F (-4 °C), or they may die. Nevertheless, it is good advice never to let the nighttime's temperatures fall below 50 °F (10 °C).

Feed your Myrtillocactus once a month in spring and summer using special cactus food.

Since they are big-sized plants, they need plenty of space for their roots. Repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Myrtillocactus.

Origin

Myrtillocactus geometrizans is native to central and northern Mexico.

Forms and Cultivars

Links

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