Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Strictum f. crested
Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. cristatus
Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. grandiareolatus
Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. hintonii
Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. pugionifera
M. Geometrizans is native to Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest and Mexico Southwest. The crested form has garden origin.
M. Geometrizans is a particular cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The stem is erect columnar, grey-bluish in color, arranged in 5-8 ribs. The plant in the wild can reach up to 4 m in height and 10 cm in diameter. Blooming occurs in late winter and early spring, and flowering can reach up to 60 cm in height. Flowers are small, white greenish and bear dark red, edible fruits. The crested form usually grows in the shape of a fan and can branches at the base. The cultivar strictum is smaller than normal and tubercles are more close. The color of the stem can take on purple hues depending on climate conditions.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a light shadow in the young and a full light sun exposure later but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.
Propagation can be done only by cutting, to not lose the mutation of the forma crestata. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.
The forma crestata is a natural mutation that occurred in the M. Geometrizans population and that was selected and propagated vegetatively. Myrtillocactus means “blueberry cactus”, its name is due to the fruit of this cactus that is a tiny sweet edible fruit which looks like blueberries.
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