There are not synonyms for this plant
P. columella is native to Peru and the plant grows in crevices on steep cliffs and can spread up to 1575 m of altitude.
P. columella is a beautiful succulent belonging to the Piperaceae botanical family. The plant has an erect habit and branches. The stem is covered by the alternately arranged leaves. The leaves are fleshy, thick, arranged in five spiral lines, shaped like a horseshoe, bright green in color. The leaves store water and then use it during drought periods. The leaves are composed of window tissue a transparent tissue extending from the epidermis down into the leaf which allows light penetration to the interior photosynthetic tissue. Blooming occurs during the spring and buds are borne at the top of the stem. The flowers are tiny, tail-like and light green in color.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 6°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. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. 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. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
With over 1,100 species of plants, it is one of the largest genrer (though only a few of them are part of the succulent). The specific epithet comes from Latin “columella” little column, pillar, for the leaves that are arranged so close to one another that hide the stalk, giving the whole plant the form of a small columnar body from which it derives its name.
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