|Full Description: Echinopsis cristata-(Crested) 'The Caterpillar' This is a crested hybrid Echinopsis that has detailed stem growth resembling a Caterpillar. Caterpillar has finely spaced ribs & areoles with stem growth growing in a convoluted mound or large fan like form, ribs running laterally to partially or even completely horizontal are colored light green to dark green sometimes looking brownish with the many closely spaced, very short brown-grey spines.
The convoluted mound of 'The Caterpillar' grows slowly, but can grow very large on older plants reaching 20"+ in width and 12" or taller over many seasons. This crested form does also produce beautiful small pinkish-purple with orange mid stripe blooms (See pictures below), grown more though for its unusual looking crested stem growth that is like a living sculpture. Crested cactus also tend to get interest and easily start a conversation, so makes a great conservation piece.
Easy to grow likes full to part sun and regular water in summer to occasional water in winter. Hardy to 15 degrees for brief periods.
What is a Crested Cactus?
Crested scientifically is termed in plants as a forma cristata or synonym called a fascination-(from the Latin word “fascia” which translates to mean “a band”.
Fasciation, cristation or crested is when an abnormal growth development of an apical meristem characterized by indeterminate proliferative growth. In effect a plant becomes "crested" when its apex-(top) develops laterally from a linear meristem rather than a single point.
Fasciation, cristation or "crested" growth in plants is a phenomena that may randomly affect vascular plants both in nature and in cultivated plants. Out of 290 plant families fasciations have been found in at least 107 of them. There are no direct confirmation of absence of fasciations in any of taxonomic groups of vascular plants.
A fasciation (abrupt changes of organ forming activity of meristems resulting from somatic mutations) is an abnormal enlargement or coalescence of a shoot tips ( not a disease) in which a single apical meristem has become unusually broadened and flattened, suggesting many stems have fused together, which resulted in the following unlimited growth, As a result the shoots have axial symmetry instead of central symmetry.The plants initially take the form of a fan, then undulate, and end up resembling brains. Side shoots are usually absent or remain very small and undeveloped. It is especially prevalent in species with indeterminate growth patterns. Although there is another much rarer type, characterised by a ring-shaped growing point, which produces a hollow shoot (ring fasciation).
Cristation or crested cacti are real living sculptures, sought after by collectors, coveted by plant amateurs, and widely cultivated by commercial growers, they look very outstanding when potted and certainly attract a lot of attention.
Here are a few examples below of Cactus species that also have crested forms...
( Pictured below are more views of 'The Caterpillar' (Echinopsis-crested) as a back & front views ).
Flowers : Below are several pictures of the beautiful flowers this variety 'Caterpillar' also produces, the blooms average 3-1/2" in diameter with pink-purple and orange mid striping which closely resemble the coloration's of another Echinopsis hybrid we also grow but it has an even larger bloom named Ech. cv 'Mira Bella'. Below are examples of the colorful blooms also produced by 'The Caterpillar'.
Offered as : 4" wide X 4" tall minimum sized cuttings to all mail order locations. Short 5 gallon pot sized rooted plant(s) are also available for mail order but with in the U.S. only or they can be picked up at our walk in nursery-see details/info. click link below.
Established specimen sized plant(s) in short 5 gallon pots may also be available for shipping within the U.S. only or for pick-up as most are very large, so sorry but no international shipping of large plants.
Simply click the link below for info. about our walk-in nursery website, or to check availability and place an order with one of our friendly sales reps. today !