73 and still gardening

Rat-tail Cactus

If not for its 3 inch wide pinkish-red flowers, I would have given away my Aporocactus flagellaformis. This epiphyte, commonly known as the Rat’s Tail Cactus, has long stems densely covered with short yellowish or brownish spines. Those spines are formidable and I’m always wary when I get near this trailing plant so most often I leave it alone.

3 inch wide pinkish-red flowers

This succulent is due for repotting for its stems are overcrowded. Yet, I don’t look forward to repot this plant or propagate it; I remember the countless times being punctured by those needles… Arggh… not a happy thought. I could always prepare a nice pot filled with sandy-loam soil for some stems to grow on, though.

spiny long stems

Presently, most of its stems are about an inch thick or less, and about less than a meter long. Those pale green stems could trail down to 6 meters when fully matured, or so as the book says. Also, along the entire length of those stems appear its fruits and flowers.

blooming for several days

I remembered that it did not yield flowers before when I put it in a shaded area in my garden. However, it flourished well when I placed it on the deck baluster upstairs. I guess it prefers an open air where there is plenty of air, sunlight and rain.

While most cactus rot during the wet season, the Rat’s Tail Cactus welcomes the rain for it shows off more blooms on its stems.  I just keep in mind that this cactus doesn’t like being disturbed or moved when it is showing-off its blossoms. Anyway, humans, bumble bees, stingless bees and small back ants often couldn’t stay away from its red funnel-shaped flowers.

funnel-shaped flower

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