Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Flowering Cucumber Cactus

Echinocereus viereckii var. morricalii 

I grew this cactus from seed, planted 10 years ago.  It has wonderful flowers and very few, if any spines, which make it a most enjoyable cactus.  Yes, it is a little cramped in its, not so beautiful pot, but I plan to rectify this soon.  I will put it in a larger clay pot, and as I usually do with clay pots, seal the inside of the pot with a pot sealant such as polyurethane.  This prevents the salts in the water from coming through the pot and leaving those ugly white stains. 

This variety, morricalii, is native to the State of Nuevo Leon in Mexico.  It's a cliff-forest ecotype of E. viereckii. 

My cacti spend the summer out in the open in full sun.  My only concern is thunderstorms with hail.  I have most of my better plants on a porch (no roof) where I can through a plastic cover over them if bad weather threatens.  I post a photo of this arrangement which has worked well for me over the past 20 years.  Of course, when cold weather arrives, the plants have to go into winter quarters, and that another story. 


  1. Beautiful! So many flowers at once, though sometimes I like to see them spaced out - one way gives one a little pleasure for a long time, the other lots of pleasure for a short time!
    Peter Knop

  2. Hi Peter. Yes, one of the short comings of most cacti is the very short flowering period. Intense, yes, but not lasting very long. That's one of the reasons when I decide to grow a certain cactus, or other succulent, I select a plant that has an interesting, or colorful body, or leaves. I liked this plant because of the unusual nature of the stems, upright, cylindrical, and bright green, like a cucumber! The wonderful flowers are just a very nice bonus. I hope things at Ticonderoga Farms are going great and you continue to enjoy the development of your botanical gem.