Just outside the East Crescent, you’ll find a young Peruvian Apple Cactus, otherwise known as Cereus Repandus, in a planter. Last week we captured a rather rare occurrence for our young cactus.(Photos by Sue Kirsch, text by Shannon Mackenzie)

The young plant sprouted a flower nearly half its size! The bloom of the Cereus Repandus only lasts half a day, bursting open at night and closing again at sunrise. This implies that it’s pollenator is also nocturnal, possible a bat or moth. “With an often tree-like appearance, its cylindrical gray-green to blue stems can reach 10 metres (33 feet) in height and 10–20 cm in diameter as a self-supporting plant. However, if supported by a scaffold, C. repandus has grown to a height of 110 feet (34 meters) at the SDM College of Dental Sciences at Dharwad, Karnataka, India, technically making this the tallest cactus plant in the world, although no cactus under natural conditions exceeds seventy feet (21 meters) in height. The large, cream-colored, nocturnal flowers remain open for only one night. The fruits, known locally as pitaya, olala (only in some parts of Bolivia) or Peruvian apple, are thornless and vary in skin colour from violet-red to yellow. The edible flesh is white and contains small, edible, crunchy seeds. The flesh sweetens as the fruit opens out fully.” You can find more information about the Peruvian Apple Cactus at the following resources: 

https://thesucculentsource.com/products/peruvian-apple-cactus-cutting-cereus-repandus

http://tastylandscape.com/2013/04/24/a-very-tasty-cactus-cereus-peruvianus/

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