Myrtillocactus geometrizans

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Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Myrtillocactus geometrizans black.jpg
Young cultivated plant
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Myrtillocactus
Species:
M. geometrizans
Binomial name
Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Myrtillocactus geometrizans (bilberry cactus, whortleberry cactus or blue candle) is a species of cactus in the genus Myrtillocactus, native to central and northern Mexico.[1]

Description[edit]

Myrtillocactus geometrizans is a large shrubby cactus growing to 4–5 m tall, with candelabra-like branching on mature plants. The individual stems are 6–10 cm diameter, with five (occasionally six) ribs, with areoles spaced 1.5–3 cm apart. The flowers are creamy white, 2–2.5 cm diameter. The fruit is an edible dark purple berry 1–2 cm diameter, superficially resembling Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry or whortleberry) fruit; both the scientific and English names derive from this resemblance.[2]

Cultivation[edit]

It is a popular species in cultivation, where young plants commonly remain unbranched for many years. The fruit is edible, and sold for consumption in Mexico.[2]

The bilberry cactus is fast growing, and is often used as grafting stock because of this. With favourable conditions it can reach heights of up to 15 feet.[3]

The fukurokuryuzinboku(福禄竜神木) cultivar from Japan, commonly known as "titty cactus" or "breast cactus," has unusually plump ribs shaped like human breasts.[4] Fukurokuryuzinboku, roughly translates to fortune (fuku), fief/happy (roku), dragon (ryu), Shinto god/spirit (jin), tree (boku).[5] It was named after Fukurokuju and Ryujin, two of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Myrtillocactus geometrizans Archived 2012-06-14 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  3. ^ "Blue Candle, Whortleberry Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans)". www.desert-tropicals.com.
  4. ^ "Myrtillocactus geometrizans 'Fukurokuryuzinboku' – Breast Cactus". World of Succulents. December 14, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  5. ^ "福禄竜神木".
Myrtillocactus geometrizans in UNAM Botanical Garden, Mexico City.