Myrtillocactus geometrizans

     Myrtillocactus geometrizans, commonly called "Blue Candle" and "Whortleberry Cactus" is a columnar from northern Mexico. It branches freely and can form a candelabra to 15 feet high and 7 to 8 foot spread. In early spring it produces greenish white flowers followed by dark red edible berries. It is an attractive landscape plant with frosted blue green stems. Sometimes the branches take on whimsical forms such as the cutting above. I just had to take a new picture with a pair of sunglasses perched over the nose like arm in front :-)
     M. geometrizans likes regular water and sun in summer however it should be kept a bit drier in winter. Any average cacti mix is suitable for potted specimens. Here in Arizona it does fine in the ground with plain old desert dirt. It is easy to propagate from cuttings in summer, any other time and they are difficult to root.
     Below is an unrooted cutting I kept in the greenhouse over winter. In early March, before I had even moved everything out, it bloomed for me. The fruits that followed were delicious. The third picture below needs no explanation and the fourth was donated by Bob, a fellow member of the Davesgarden.com gardening forums. I've never seen a variegated one. Too cool! Thanks Bob :-)

Early spring


comic relief

A beautiful
variegated specimen
All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.