pencil cactus

joendavidAugust 7, 2012

hi,

i have a 3 foot tall pencil cactus...its about 5 years old. i keep it trimmed so as to be a mini tree. the stem is as thick as a dime....but i want to get the stem larger as to support it when it gets taller. any info would help...thanks, joendavid

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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Joendavid, just trim the branches in the way you desire for it to grow, they tend to get kinda bushy so just cut back the side growth and it'll get stronger, thicker and taller.

Here's one I have and I've made all kinds of new plants with the little pencils that shoot out , this one is the sticks of fire pencil cactus but I have the all green ones too.

Greg

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 4:00PM
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cactusmcharris

Folks should know that the 'pencil cactus' hijole has pictured is not a cactus at all but a Euphorbia, which also may be toxic to one's skin / general well-being if gotten on the skin / mucous membranes (eyes, nose).

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 4:14PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

This is true folks, I was simply answering the question at hand. I have been warned of these same things and I have gotton this liquid on my hands & washed it off with soap & water with no ill effects.

I have mention this to my children with small kids and they thought at first it meant if they looked at it or got close . Correct me if I'm wrong but someone would have to actually break a piece off and smear this liquid on themselves for any ill effects right?

Thanks Jeff,

Greg

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Microthrix(9)

I have (stupidly) broken off pieces of this plant and rubbed them on myself (dont judge, i was 9 and didnt know) and nothing happened to me ... are figs in the euphorbia family? Because fig sap irritates my skin. I Still would NOT recomend anyone puts this on themselves though ... i wonder why it didnt hurt me ...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:06PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

It didn't hurt me either although it didn't come in contact with anything except my hands, and not my eyes or nose.

I have however broke out with skin irritation from getting Agave fluid on my arms, O boy! I thought my arm was on fire and it bothered me for about a week with red blotches that looked like chicken pocs.

Don't get me wrong I'm sure the results does vary some being more sensitive than others.

Like wise with poison ivy, some people aren't effected at all and others are severely effected.

So beware. Warning has been served.

Greg

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:25PM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

It didn't hurt me either although it didn't come in contact with anything except my hands, and not my eyes or nose.

I have however broke out with skin irritation from getting Agave fluid on my arms, O boy! I thought my arm was on fire and it bothered me for about a week with red blotches that looked like chicken pocs.

Don't get me wrong I'm sure the results does vary some being more sensitive than others.

Like wise with poison ivy, some people aren't effected at all and others are severely effected.

So beware. Warning has been served.

Greg

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:30PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Greg , what us the PP in the lower left corner??

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 9:45PM
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cactusmcharris

Greg,

I feel we who know what it is can't / shouldn't call it 'pencil cactus', because of the danger factor first and the nomenclatural 3-base error which hangs around like a cheap suit. You can call me presumptuous to think so, and you'd be right. You're also right that it's depending on the person as to how painful a Euphorbia sap burn (never mind a piece of E. ingens 4' long tumbling within six inches of your head as you prune a 25' tree of it) can be. This particular one has been reported by others to be 'not too bad', but let me tell you, brother, there are some bad ones out there, like E. virosa and E. horrida, never mind the Nastiest of the Nasty (supposedly), E. abdelkuri.

Hence my personal mission to destroy this mostly-a-myth 'pencil cactus' misinformation and replace it with RightThink, making sure the sap danger (there's a joke there, I'm sure) is announced loud and proud.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:37PM
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cactusmcharris

The Beast At Repose. Its yellow sap is extraordinary in a number of ways, once of which is near-assured blindness if you get it in your eye. Careful with that grafting, kids!

IIRC, this plant's natural habitat skirts the sea (Indian Ocean) around Abdel-kuri (sp?), an island off Soqotra.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:41PM
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mrlike2u(**)

Euphorbia: The 2000 plus year old who done it.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:01AM
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martenfisher(9a)

Got Euphorbia ammak in my eye last night. Did not burn but feels more like a lump in my eye now. Don't see anything but redness.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 1:48AM
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hijole(9 Sunny California)

Jeff, I know this might/could surprise some but I for one am for right thinking, I know in order to get right results we need right info. And anything else is compromise, let me just say, I'm not the one that called it "Pencil Cactus.". I just didn't correct it, (my bad.)

However, in the past I have called it " The Burning Bush." Still incorrect, but was only being playful, I guess that could be interpreted as a cheap suit or cloak. Lol... But correct knowledge showed up to the forum this week and I agree, people need to hear the correct names and titles for certain spieces that are mentioned or inquired about here and I'm all for that and if I give another name to a plant I will make certain I identity him by his true name.

This could actually turn into a spelling bee type of thing where we bring to the forum the correct names of certain spieces.

Now I don't think this would work to good on the Sanseveria site because many names get changed often it seems like and many just except it too it seems like.

Wantanmara, I think your asking about the cactus pads I'm really not certain but I think there some type of Santa Rita pads, the kinda purple colored ones?

Mrlike2u, who done it ? What sorry I missed the pitch.

O yeah, jeff, about the beast, he's also a beauty.

Greg

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 1:53AM
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