What cactus is that?

I fully expected to be able to identify this cactus and dazzle you with the reason that it would bloom at this particular time of year, what insects or birds would be dependent on the nectar and pollen produced, blah, blah, blah.


But, I was brought to earth with a thud when I was unable to get Google to magically provide the information so I could impress you. So, I turn to you, my well-informed, intelligent knowledge base. Do you recognise this cactus, can you tell us its native country?

The single stem is very slim, well overΒ  2 meters tall, and has to endure temperatures from -5 to +40 Celsius. It is an unusual plant to encounter here in Myrtleford, and is almost hidden in a corner of the communal garden.Β 


The blossoms are so pretty and complex, and are held out from the main stem by what I’d call a branch, if this was a tree.


Two days after I happened to notice the first blossoms, they have faded and wilted. I hope some insects were able to partake of the exotic feast that was briefly offered.

So, which of you clever folks will be the first to tell us all about this wonder of nature?

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70 responses to “What cactus is that?

  1. I have no idea what it is but I’m pretty sure it’s not from this planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Let’s get cereus * | Hello World

  3. Beautiful! I have no idea what it’s called


  4. Hmmm. You have lots of possibilities. I found Pilosocereus pachycladus, but it blooms at night. It is a native of Brazil.


  5. I’m hoping you got an answer somewhere because I am of no use being decidedly botanically challenged. I could tell you something was a tree or a flower or possibly a tomato but that’s about it.

    It’s noice, though. You know, different, unusual, noice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We were walking in a well-known winter garden on a big estate a couple of weeks ago, when we noticed that the ancient wisteria, that drapes itself 40 foot high through some trees, was in bloom. We stared, amazed, because wisteria don’t bloom in December in England and the blooms were particularly big too. We were craning our necks and scratching our heads when our companion noticed a funny join between bloom and stalk and said, look they’re plastic (and they were)! Are you sure your cactus…?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. IF your photos weren’t during the day, I would tell you they looked like a cereus bloom, but to the best of my knowledge, those all bloom at night.


  8. I agree with Gerard. It’s not a tulip. It’s not a tulip! πŸ˜€ HA! πŸ˜›

    I don’t know THAT cacti’s name, but I’ve seen similar ones in the SouthWest in the USA!

    I know a lot of other cacti by name (not their scientific names)…Saguaro, Prickly Pear, Jumping Cactus, Yucca, Barrel, HedgeHog, Fish Hook…okay, I’ll stop listing now…I don’t want to become a thorn in your side! πŸ˜€

    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. By the way, a similar flower occurs on Epiphyllums, which are called the “orchids of the cactus world” or “orchid cactus” for short. Google them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Succulents (and cacti) are quite interesting plants because they react to different environments and the stress that comes with those different environments. I have some Echeverias and Graptopetalums and blush all sorts of interesting colors when they are stressed from too much water, too little water, too much sun, too little sun, too hot, or too cold. They’ll turn pink, blue, orange, yellow, red…. and their blossoms will be different from those that would happen in their native habitats. That type of cactus is not native to Australia but it obviously likes living there; I would, too. The fact that they do different things when taken out of their native habitats means that it can be extraordinarily difficult to identify them based simply on pictures. Since it’s obviously not in its native environment, I went with the most common of the Mexican Fence Post cactus (also called “columnar cactus”) because the most common ones are the ones that get moved from place to place, and the most common ones are the ones that are easiest to grow, to breed, to bring to seed, and to adapt to a completely different environment. The only thing I can say with certainty based on pictures is that it is, indeed, a cactus……LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Give that man a pack of Snickers, folks! Cacti are definitely fascinating. I planted some in a small patio area up in tropical Queensland. They became like triffids, I was almost afraid to venture out in the dark …


  11. It’s definitely a Sitonit Priklias πŸ˜‰ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jane

    You have some wonderfully interesting botany over there in the down under! Wish things like that could spring up in my neighborhood!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really love the native flora in Australia. Just thinking of the eucalypts, there are more than 700 species! They’re sort of like the cacti family in North and South America, I guess.


  13. It is not a tulip, but that’s about as far as I can to make a guess.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. My husband likes to refer to me as a Bongong moth, because I come alive after dark. Maybe that is your nocturnal pollinator πŸ™‚ They’d be migrating from the alps about now wouldn’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s quite beautiful, whatever it is. I’d go with Russel’s answer. It sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. πŸ™‚ Good spotting, Yvonne.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That is one of any possible species of the Mexican Fence Post cactus. Prior to genome mapping and such, there were many in the genera Backebergia, Lemaireocereus, Lophocereus, Marginatocereus, Mitrocereus, and Pterocereus. Genome mapping has brought them all together under the genus Pachycereus. My guess based just on those pictures is Pachycereus schottii, one of the most common. Each flower last about 24 hours but it depends on what time of the day the flower actually blooms. It also is called the “senita cactus” because it exhibits mutualism with the senita moth, the only nocturnal pollinator of the cactus. The moth relies on the cactus as a host for reproduction. Without this mutualism, both cactus and moth would be on the way out.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Not me, not an inkling, but it is lovely isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. At first I thought it was a Neowerdermannia vorwerkii, but quickly realized it could be a Coleocephalocereus fluminensis or even a Weberbauerocereus cuzcoensis. I was going to ask a real expert, and not an amateur like me, but he got all prickly.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Lovely flower! I’ve seen smaller (or maybe younger) versions of this cactus, but I’ve no idea what they’re called.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russel, in his comment above, gives a likely hypothesis. We might have different moths over here to do the pollinating.


      • Sounds like it’s been named, all right. After a bit, curiousity got too much for me and I went to the website of a local cacti seller. (The seller’s local, I mean, not the cacti.)

        Anyway, the seller had photos of one simply called “Cereus” that flowered at night, and looked likely. From the number of names you’ve now got here ending in “-cereus” they sound like a big family!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for doing further detective work! They’re a huge family, aren’t they. I’ll keep an eye out for any fruit that might develop.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The genus Cereus was one of the first cactus genera to be described, way back in 1625. They didn’t have genome mapping back then. The whole world, flora and fauna, is being turned upside down with genome mapping. We’re discovering that just because two organisms look the same doesn’t mean they are related, and just because two organisms don’t look the same doesn’t mean they are not related. There is such a thing as “covergent evolution” and “divergent evolution” providing that one believes in evolution to begin with.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hah! You and I are living, breathing proof of that, Rusty. Divergent, aren’t we??


  20. It’s gorgeous! No idea what it is though, even though I spent many years living in the California desert. Everything I’ve read about Australia tells me you have very unusual plant life there.
    Be sure to let us know when you find out. Love the flowers.
    Isn’t it late spring there? That’s when cacti bloom in California’s deserts.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Well I have no idea. But you didn’t say where the photo was taken.

    Liked by 1 person

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