Myrtillocactus geometrizans (C.Mart.) Console

Common Name: Bilberry Cactus, Whortleberry Cactus or Blue Candle Cactus

Distribution: Central & Southern Mexico

Habitat: Stony and sandy soils in deciduous xerophytic tropical woodlands.

Description:  A highly branched columnar candelabra like tree cactus. The individual stems are 6–10 cm diameter, with five (occasionally six) ribs, with areoles (bump where the spines grow from) spaced 15–30mm apart, 3-5 spines about 5-12mm long. In nature grows up to 4.5 m tall. Flowers - small & white 2-30mm, followed by small blue edible fruits 8-20mm, which look very like blueberries.

Propagation: By seed or cutting (allow the cut surface to dry out for 2-3 weeks before placing in an open rooting media).

Cultivation: Min temp of 10°C; Very free draining open compost; Sunny position; Water regularly during the growing season (Summer) allowing the compost to dry out between each application. Keep completely dry in winter.  

Uses: Very sweet, edible fruit sold in Mexican markets; the flowers are also edible and are often boiled or fried.

Restrictions:

RBGE Data: May 2012

  • Accession #: 19801851
  • Source:  Berlin-Dahlem Botanic Garden
  • Provenance: Wild collected in San Luis Potosí, Mexico by Beat Ernst Leuenberger & C. Schiers
  • Location: Arid Lands House

Check the RBGE Living Plant Database

Classification:

  • SubClass:               Core Eudicots
  • Order:                     Core Caryophyllales
  • Family:                    Cactaceae

Image:

 Myrtillocactus geometrizans

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