Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form 1gal, Spiral delight
The Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form is a slow-growing, but undemanding ornamental twisted pole-shaped cactus. The spiralis form is rare in the trade and sought after by collectors. It has regular shaped green stems with spiraling ribs and few areoles. Individual stems branch mostly at the base, but occasionally higher along the mostly vertical stems as well. Young stems have a waxy bloom on their surface, but can become very marked with age. Mature stems can reach 6 inches in diameter.
A naturally occurring hybrid, Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form rarely, if ever, flowers and is sterile. This plant is native to the desert regions of mainland Mexico and the Baja California peninsula of Mexico with small populations also occurring in the most southern part of Arizona. It prefers rich porous soil, and can survive drought once a large colony of stems is established. Tolerates temperatures slightly below freezing if the growing tips are protected.
Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form is an interesting specimen cactus which works well in containers or larger planters that accent it. It can also be planted in cactus and rock gardens in warmer areas. The stems in this rare hybrid version grow in a striking twisted fashion. tissues of the Totem are very sensitive and need to be protected from scratching. Even birds , which love to land on them, can scratch them. Cut tissues develop a phenolic oxidase reaction with the air and turn black rather quickly the turn grey with age.
Old plants can reach upwards of 8 feet and develop multiple twisting trunks. They also seem prone to sliting if they get too much moisture. Although this doesn’t seem to hurt the plant at all it is cosmeticaly undesirable. You can test the plant for its water needs by squeezing it to see if it turgid. A spongy feeling means it probably could use some water.
Names and Synonyms: Lophocereus schottii var. monstrosus, Cereus schottii var. monstrosus, Pilocereus schottii var. monstrosus, Lophocereus schottii f. monstrose (there are more synonyms)
Common Names: Totem Pole Cactus, Spiral Totem
Origin: Lophocereus schottii is native to the desert regions of mainland Mexico and the Baja California peninsula of Mexico with small populations also occurring in the most southern part of Arizona. The spiralis form is a very rare natural hybrid found growing further south than the Monstrose form.
Size Label: 1 Gallon
Cold Tolerance: 20 to 25°F, -6.7 to -3.9°C
Heat Tolerance: Extreme heat tolerance
Light Requirement: Full sun
Water needs: Very drought tolerant
Uses: An interesting specimen cactus which works well in containers or larger planters that accent it. It can also be planted in cactus and rock gardens in warmer areas. The stems in this rare hybrid version grow in a striking twisted fashion.
Propagation: Take cuttings of healthy shoots in spring and summer by cutting the stem with a sterile knife just above a bud or shoot. Leave the cutting in a warm dry place until a callus forms over the wound. Once callused, the cutting should be potted up with cactus potting mix topped with a surface layer of coarse grit in which to place the cut end. This prevents the cut end from becoming too wet and allows the roots to penetrate the rich compost underneath in about 2 to 3 weeks.
Problems: Requires excellent drainage to prevent rot.
There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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