Austrocylindropuntia subulata

The branching, tree-like specimen grows to thirteen feet tall and about ten feet wide, with cylindrical deep green leaves. New growth does not have many spines, but as the plant matures yellowish-red spines develop on its tip. The Eve’s needle will rarely bloom in cultivation, but when it does, it produces long, coppery red, showy blooms. Its fruit is oblong with small spines. This plant is fast-growing once established and requires minimal care. It is hardy from twenty-five to thirty degrees Fahrenheit. If it is damaged by winter frost, cut frozen areas to live wood and it will recover in the spring and summer months. The Eve’s needle needs full sun to light shade and well-draining soil. The plant prefers more water than most cacti, but do not water it as much during the winter months. It can be easily propagated from seeds and cuttings. Use it in attractive containers, raised beds, and cactus gardens, as a showy specimen in atriums, or as an understory plant. This exquisite cactus is native to the higher elevations of Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Bolivia, where it is used and cultivated as a living fence.

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