Plant ID forum: Unknown Cactus

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Cat Lover
ramennoodlecats
Mar 11, 2016 9:43 AM CST
Hey all!

I'm not sure what this cactus is. It had been doing well up until a few days ago when the green parts that extend out from the base started to turn brown and dry up. I would like to ID it, so I can figure out if this is normal, or what I need to do to bring it back to health.

Thanks!
Thumb of 2016-03-11/ramennoodlecats/3486a1

Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 11, 2016 11:30 AM CST
Is that a second plant in the pot? My intuition says Euphorbia - I have no reasons to think that. What is the grey cardboard thing its growing out of?

Cat Lover
ramennoodlecats
Mar 11, 2016 11:45 AM CST
IRL the grey bit looks like a old piece of cactus that died long ago. I don't know much about the history of this plant as I just took over the greenhouse in mid-December.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 11, 2016 11:45 AM CST
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
[Last edited by SongofJoy - Mar 11, 2016 12:52 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Mar 11, 2016 12:43 PM CST
It looks like Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve's Needle). It likes full sun to really grow those leaves better. When it is too cool and light levels not the best, it drops those leaves. It has been rainy winter this time, so color of my Eve's Needle is rather dull.

This is how mine looks in different months:
07Nov2012
Thumb of 2016-03-11/tarev/6218b0

27June2013
Thumb of 2016-03-11/tarev/bca666

15Jan 2016
Thumb of 2016-03-11/tarev/25306d

[Last edited by tarev - Mar 11, 2016 12:45 PM (+)]
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Cat Lover
ramennoodlecats
Mar 11, 2016 12:47 PM CST
Thank you Tarve! I'm glad this condition is 'normal'. The last month has been very overcast, so I'd assume it dropped its leaves because of that.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Mar 11, 2016 12:51 PM CST
It is Austrocylindopuntia subulata (Eve's Needle). It does that to its 'leaves' when it is distressed - not sure where you are, but if it just got a lot warmer in the greenhouse it might a response to that, or if it started getting a whole lot of extra sun, that would also cause it. I'd show you a picture of mine who just did that before it put on a whole lot of new growth, but unfortunately it is a plant I look at a lot, but for some reason do not take many pictures of.
The grayish base is likely the woodified base of an older plant that was either cut off or died off - these things rot easily if wet in cool times.
The Eve's Needle really does not like wet feet, especially when it is cool. So it is a plant to keep pretty much dry in winter even if it looks a little unhappy.

The little plant in front of it looks like a young form of cylindropuntia fulgida (jumping or chain fruit cholla).
When I saw the picture I said to myself hmmm that pot could have come from me. My jumping cholla jumps a lot and I have many volunteers in bunches of pots crowding in with the plants that are supposed to be in the pot... in the monsoon storms we get here in summer in Arizona you can see small chunks of this plant get blown around. Watch those spines on the cholla they have little barbs and if you get stuck you usually get a section of cactus with it.... not fun to remove.

Cross posting with Tarev, but as you can see I agree with his ID!
[Last edited by mcvansoest - Mar 11, 2016 12:52 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Mar 11, 2016 1:00 PM CST
It is fun during the transition of temps..cool to warm, leaves display reddish blush, you can see it on the Jun 2013 photo, on the smaller eve's needle.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 11, 2016 1:14 PM CST
I think you are right!
Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Adeniums Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Hummingbirder Xeriscape
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mcvansoest
Mar 11, 2016 1:14 PM CST
I have a small one like that which does that, but my big one does not do that. It is getting big, going on 5 feet tall and going... I think the small one is supposed to be a monstrose version - they are not supposed to stay that small.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Mar 11, 2016 1:36 PM CST
I really like it when they turn into those beet red colors, and then some areoles attempts new growth, and it also turns red: it just varies every year how it reacts.
Ramenoodlecats, just showing you the show this plant can do..something to watch out for and enjoy in yours later on:

20Feb2012
Thumb of 2016-03-11/tarev/99e175

02Apr2013
Thumb of 2016-03-11/tarev/fd2110



[Last edited by tarev - Mar 11, 2016 1:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Mar 11, 2016 3:00 PM CST
I agree, looks like Eve's Needle Cactus (Austrocylindropuntia subulata)
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 11, 2016 5:08 PM CST
Yes, it does.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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