Trichocereus bridgesii f. mostruosa
T. bridgesii is native to Bolivia where it grows on the mountain region of Andes with temperatures that can be under 0 °C. The mostruosa form has garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar).
T. bridgesii f. mostruosa is a slow growing columnar cactus that branches at the base and can reach 25-40 cm in height. The stem is glaucous green, and it is made of many smooth sections tapered at the apex. The apical region of the stem is cylindrical and devoid of thorns, the basal region of the stem tends to form ribs and bears pointed pale brownish spines 5 cm long. This mutant variety does not produce flowers and seeds, it is sterile indeed. There are two clones of the forma mostruosa: clone A has spines and many branches, and clone B with few branches and few spines, the latter is also known as penis cactus due to the incision at the apex of the stem. The forma mostruosa is a natural mutation that occurred in the T. Bridgesii population and that was selected and propagated vegetatively.
This plant is very easy to grow and will add great value to your collection. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. You can water regularly (every 10 day) in the growing season but check that the soil is completely dry before watering again. During the winter is advisable to stop watering to allow the plant to resist low temperatures and to enter dormancy. For a lush vegetative growth, you can use some fertilizers specialized for cacti. For the sun exposure the best one is direct sunlight as it is in its habitat. The plant can easily withstand to low temperatures up to -12 °C.
Propagation can be done only by cutting, to not lose the mutation of the forma mostruosa. By cutting you can use the offsets that grow at the base of the plant. Cut the offset as close as possible to the base of the stem and then let it 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.
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