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Need help with cactus ID, please.

Posted by LatinLady 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 17:06

I have several small unidentified cacti and need your help with ID so I can research care. The straight photo is the reference photo for the below key. I have them pictured in three rows, with 4 plants per row (front to back). Please refer to the plants as numbered.

I have shared below my observations to assist with identification.

1D 2D 3D

1C 2C 3C

1B 2B 3B

1A 2A 3A

Observations & thoughts:
1A - There were four of these and three dried out. This one survived and I need to understand why when the others died. This plant has inoffensive, downward pointing dragon bones spines. I'm guessing it's a Euphorbia - Is that correct?

1B - I believe this is a Peanut Cactus or Echinopsis Chamaecereus. Is this correct?

1D - I believe this is an Opuntia variety, but am not certain which. The pads branch out on this one.

2B - I believe this also Opuntia Mycrodaisis like 2C but not "forma contorta." Is this correct? Both plants have what I call "puffs of yellow balls with thorns." Layman's terms, of course!

2C - These two came off the mother, which turned to mush, perhaps from the cold winter we had. I believe this plant is Opuntia Mycrodaisis, Forma Contorta. Is this correct?

2D - Wild guess: Cholla?

3A - I actually have several of these in various stages of growth, including one 8" tall. The mature plants grow tons of these pups, each with its own aerial roots. The spines become reddish brown in direct sunlight.

3B - The two round reddish ridged stone-looking cacti have been laying on soil all winter and have not grown ONE root. Yet these pups are not hollow or dead - Any clues? This is a first ever for me!!

3D - I believe this is Lepismium Cruciforme. Is this correct?

Thank you so much for your help.

This post was edited by LatinLady on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 23:35

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

Adding photo to facilitate ID

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

Adding photo to facilitate ID - Thank you.

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

L L , Not sure of the names of all your cacti but that sure is a nice collection you put together there.
Where abouts is zone 6 if I could ask I'm in Sunny California zone 9 where the weather is fabulous everyday well almost everyday.


RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

Hi, Greg! I'm in New York City.

Thank you - These are just some cuttings people have given me, which is why I don't know their names. I love succulents and have about 30 varieties (mostly cacti) - Nothing big because I live in an apartment; just a little of this and a little of that.

This post was edited by LatinLady on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 23:33

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

From you 1st pic:
Front row, the middle one, Opuntia subulata?
2nd row: Chamaecereus silvestrii, aka Echinopsis chamaecereus, and other names. Opuntia microdasys in the middle, and on the right, Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii. This last one, you can call G. mih..., or G. fried.... Some people use one name for the pink flowered ones and the other name for the green flowered ones. The color on the body of the plants can vary from dark green to bright red to a combination, which gave rise to another common name, the Plaid Cactus.

Don't stake your reputation or bet the farm on any cactus Latin binomial (Echinopsis chamaecereus, for instance). They change with new information, and are accepted or rejected on whims it seems. If you obsess with the "correct" name for your plants, you will become combative, insecure and worried. The plants won't care. Enjoy them, and accept that sometimes plants grown from seed from unknown sources might be hybrids.

3rd row, Opuntia papyracantha. Good luck getting one more than 4 sections tall. 2nd plant, Opuntia microdasys monstrose, then the other form of Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii. Again, google Gymno with both last names and make your decision.

4th row Opuntia monocantha?, Mammillaria elongata and finally, what you think is Lepsmium is probably Hylocereus, maybe H. undatus. If it is, you should find a new apartment with 20 ft. tall windows and an extra 500 sq. ft. just for this one.

Good luck with your new addiction, and like I say, if you get close with a name (the right genus), sometimes that's all you can get. If RoRo or others come by and give different names than I have, accept their names. Close up pics of any un-ID plants would be helpful. My ID skills are wanting. I'll go out and take a few pics.

I just got home after a month and noticed my Rhipsalis cruciforme (Lepismium cruciforme) with a ton of bloom, such as they are. The fruits are much more noticible.

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.


Thank you so much for taking the time to help with this. Yes, I agree about not getting hung up on names and have noticed that the latin names change and even genus family designations change. I just like to know what I have in order to research their growing habits and growing needs.

That last plant is not a Hylocereus...I do have 2 pots of Hylo...very well tamed because I took an unruly plant and hacked it last fall. I like keeping some Hylo around just to see if it does anything interesting and as root stock for my wild mad horticulturist-wanna-be experiments.

The Lepismium cruciforme is more delicate with ridged edges, ever-so-slightly spiraling leaves, "hair" at each node, and will eventually bloom. I just received mine in trade 1/2 year ago as a single stem and it grew 2 others during the winter. It's still a baby. I just noticed one root peeping out the bottom and think it's time to get it out of that starter pot into the next size so it can expand its horizons. ** See photo showing Lepismium side by side with Hylocereus. The center of the photo shows Lepismium, the right shows Hylo.

Thanks again for your help...Much appreciated.

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

Another closeup to facilitate ID - Thanks.

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.


The last one in the 2nd row, which you've identified as Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii, has not grown ONE single root during the entire winter. I have several "Moon Cactus," but still Googled the plant to see if this brown/red one grows on its own in soil - It does. Why doesn't mine have roots?

The color makes it appear to be dead but it's alive and solid, not hollow & dessicated. I really need to understand why it doesn't have any roots...does it require a host, like the colored red/yellow/orange "Moon Cactus" does? Should I lance and graft them onto Hylocereus? I know how to do that...I've successfully grafted many moon cactus pups.
** See closeup photo.

I received it together with the greener variety pictured, kept them both in the same pot all winter, treated both the same and the green one has rooted. I just transplanted into separate pots. The spines alone tell me they are two different Gymno varieties. The color has remained consistently the same as when I first received it. The soil looks different, but it is the same succulent mix...I just watered the green one. Since the other has no roots, I only watered scantly.

Thanks again.

This post was edited by LatinLady on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 11:08

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

OK, so here's the ID we have so far. Please feel free to chime in if something is not correct - Your input is greatly appreciated.

1D: Opuntia monocantha 2D: Mammillaria elongata 3D: Lepismium cruciforme

1C: Opuntia papyracantha 2C: Opuntia mycrodaisis (Monstrose or Forma Contorta?) 3C: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii

1B: Echinopsis chamaecereus (Peanut Cactus) 2B: Opuntia mycrodaisis 3B: Gymnocalycium mihanovichii friedrichii

1A: Euphorbia? 2A: Opuntia subulata 3A: Echinopsis Barrel Cactus

I have posted additional photos above in order to facilitate ID.

Thanks again.

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

Latinlady, I went to find my camera, found out instead I had left it in a rental car. I'll find out Monday if was turned in to lost and found. In the meantime, I got another one, but I am taking really crappy pics. Bear with me. This is my L. cruciforme. Sort of a smaller plant with very fuzzy aeroles. I've seen the green ones, but most of them also had hair. Maybe some don't. The blooms are all over, but best seen at the top. Small The close-ups were blurry. The plant in front is Am. konjac bloom.
 photo 003.jpg

This is Rhipsalis (Lepismium) monocantha. The color of the bloom is what the shot is about, this is the color. Some of the neatest Rhipsalis flowers.
 photo 014.jpg

This is Lepismium paranganiense, I think. For a Rhipsalis, this is a pretty good size for the bloom.
 photo 016.jpg

This is a Selenicereus innesii. One of the smaller of the genus.

 photo 012.jpg

RE: Need help with cactus ID, please.

Beautiful...Thank you for sharing.

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