What is this terrifying cactus?

cfox248(3)March 25, 2014


So, this weekend me and my mother finally hacked down the scary cactus that's been sitting in the corner. I'll be the first to say it has been neglected - I brought it home 14 years ago (second grade!) when I was little because mom mentioned wanting a cactus, and it was at the plant sale at school.

In it went into a pot, and for years we'd bring it outside all summer and inside all winter. And then it grew too big for us to handle without injury... and, it's been sitting in the corner ever since, as anywhere else it would fall over onto people or dogs with the slightest provocation. It has been lovingly dubbed the Death Cactus.

We finally decided to do something with it. After some mad googling, we chopped the top off and it's drying for future rooting. We cut off the middle section that had some brown scabbing up the side, and we put the remaining cactus (about 8 inches) in some good new cactus soil/perlite mix. We've vowed to take better care of it, and once its wound heals over it will be put in a nice sunny spot until it can go outside once more.

The question is... What is it? We don't know. It's so covered in spikes - some were as long as my little finger - that even laying it down to cut was a half hour process - let alone the actual cutting itself - that we just weren't willing to try to wrangle it. Didn't have gloves thick enough (oven mitts were the best we could find...) and ended up with many cactus pokes.

So that's the reason it looks a bit sad in the pot. I promise it's getting better care now, and we won't let it get that big again lest someone take a cactus to the eye. Come summer it will once again go outside. Here are some pics:

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Trichocereus bridgesii or Peruvian torch

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 1:35AM
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Yikes - looks wicked!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Thanks! And yes, it's quite the scary thing. Hence it's nickname of Death Cactus. It started out so innocently, too, with little baby cactus spikes...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 8:35PM
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I love the shape it takes on when cut.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:04PM
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