Thursday, April 08, 2010

Well, I know better...

So, I went to one of my local nurseries. It's not my favorite... actually, it's one of my least favorite. Overpriced and not good plants... And they have this cactus section.

This cactus section is one of my biggest pet peaves actually, and not only in this particular nursery. It seems that all the local nurseries sell cactus, but none of them have labels... You actually have a better chance of getting a cactus with an accurate label at Wal-mart or Home Depot... and even if it's not accurate, you at least have the right genus. Usually...

Anyway, this particular nursery has something that's really amazing... Succulents and Cacti that are actually dying from lack of water. Someone once told these people that cactus don't need much water and they decided that meant that they need absolutely none... I usually wouldn't lower myself to enter the door of this place. But I was bored. And, as usual, I saw a bunch of seriously deflated, under cared for cactus and succulents that were less than an inch from death. Even grafted cactus whose Hylocerius grafting stock had dried up and died already.

On a table full of Golden Barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) right at that stage where they're losing their juvenile bumpy look and developing real ribs, I found this guy. I don't know if it's some sort of mutant, or if the stress it's been under has somehow damaged it... but for some reason, at the precise moment it started to put out adult ribs... it's growing point has split into 4 different heads.

Now, I've seen 2 headed Golden barrels, but never a four headed one. I kinda had to get it.
Actually, I'm thinking it's a result of stress more than anything else, but it's intersting to note that the new heads all have juvenile ribs, and it will be interesting to see if, when they start their adult ribs, if they'll split again, which would point to a genetic mutation of some sort. regardless, it's an interesting plant.
just had to share...


  1. What did you do??????? Bring these home??? :)

  2. Yep... I bought it. another spiny plant I gotta drag in every winter now... ugh...

  3. So should we start calling you the "Cactus Whisperer" :)

  4. Hey Claude...this is interesting, but when I left my first comment on this post, I only saw the title of the post and the two pics...I just now read the writing to go with it! The 4 heads is very interesting...will be fun to watch for sure!!! Congrats on your new cactus!!!