Blue CandleMyrtillocactus geometrizans
|Category||Cactus & Succulents|
|Flower Color||Greenish-white, eventually turning a darker red|
|Flower Season||Early Spring|
This columnar, architectural, tree-like specimen grows to fifteen feet with a candelabra form. Its spiny green stems are thick and heavily ribbed. It has radial and central spines that fill each areole. When the plant is about two years old, it produces showy, greenish-white flowers in early spring that eventually turn a darker red. The flowers are pollinated by moths and are edible. Following the bloom, the plant also develops edible, currant-like fruits called garambullos. The fruit is popular and can be purchased throughout Mexico and Guatemala either dried or fresh. The dried fruits resemble a raisin. This plant likes full sun and reflected heat. Use it as specimen in cactus and succulent gardens, as a tall silhouette in front of a white wall, or as accent plant in large containers. There are many clones of this cactus that make spectacular landscape specimens. It is native to Mexico from San Luis down to Oaxaca, and into Baja California.
The blue candle is drought-resistant but prefers occasional water. It is hardy to twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit and can show some unsightly damage on its branches if frosted. This cactus is easily propagated by cuttings that root in warm weather.