Cereus peruvianus monstrosos (2006)

PhotoBy Dennis Davis (June 2006)

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My scientific name is Cereus peruvianus monstrosos. It comes from a Latin/Greek word meaning wax taper or torch. But, most of my friends call me the apple cactus. My place of origin is South America. I also like to hang around Australia now.

I normally grow from 20 centimeters to 3 meters high. I have gold spines. I get the “monstrosos” stuck on my name because I have a growth mutation that allows random growth to occur. I am genetically identical to normal forms, but somehow I become confused, lose my symmetry and grow in a range of patterns.

I get some mutations that are consistent, while sometimes I vary from growth to growth. That way I get irregular lumps and bumps on me. Despite my odd knobbed growth, I’m not sick or diseased and have flowers just like regular Cereus peruvianus plants.

I can also have what is called a cristate form, meaning my growth is deformed into a cockscomb type of thing. Cristates are also genetically identical to the normal form, but different from normal growth patterns.

Both monstrose and cristate forms reproduce/propagate via cuttings. Seeds from monstrose and cristate forms usually give normal plants.

If you want to take good care of me, I like full sun to light shade. Plus, I like that water stuff falling out of the sky about once a week in the very hot weather, twice a month in warmer weather, once a month if mild and none at all when it gets to the coldest months of the year.