Monday, March 25, 2019

Plant profile: Austrocylindropuntia subulata

Latin name: Austrocylindropuntia subulata ("OSS-tro-sill-in-dro-POONT-ee-ah sub-you-LAH-tah")
Common name: Eve's Pin, Eve's Needle
Originally from: The Peruvian Andes.
Blooms: Peachy pink
Light: Full sun to extreme furnace.
Water: Nope. Skip it.
Height x width: Up to 13' tall and as wide. If you let it.
Zones: Seventh slope of Hades, and up. (9a-10b)
Where to find at PSG: We have some at PRG, some on the cactus wall at PG, and in the very top bed too.

The genus Austrocylindropunia is useful to know, simply so you can rattle it off and impress people. The species name subulata comes from the Latin subulate, as in "like an awl" - in other words, something that can pierce leather. Yes, this is a very "cactusy" cactus. It's got that cylindrical shape to the branches, and lots and lots of long and perilously spiky spines ready to stab you. No hugs for this plant! Stay the heck away from it, actually.

It's very easy to grow - just suit yourself up in full body armor and grab a pair of tongs so you can pick up a bit of it, put it in the ground, and step back. You're sure to regret it one day.

I jest of course - it's a great plant for PSG because it's so easy to grow, obviously requires no water and awful soil is fine, it repels all boarders, and grows quickly for a cactus. It's also a great potted plant for a sunny outdoor spot.

As for the common name, Eve's Pin, you could totally use the spines as pins. I am guessing Eve was a destitute Peruvian dressmaker who discovered this one day, but I could be wrong.

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