Brain Shaped Plants
Edward K. Gilding
egilding at lava.net
Tue Nov 28 09:57:59 EST 1995
In article <493pjq$bc4 at maureen.teleport.com>, nen at teleport.com says...
> Does anyone have any recommendation for plants which are look
>like brains? I have a small cactus which looks very much like a brain,
>and had a Celosia, or Chinese Woolflower which resembled a soft, fuzzy
>yellow brain, but it just reached the end of its annual career. I got
>five or six seeds out of it so may be able to grow some next year.
> If you've seen or heard of any other plants which produce
>roundish convoluted brainlike structures I'd like to hear of them. It's
>just such a funny idea.
I think the best cactus that looks like a brain is Mammilaria cv. "Fred"
Its a monstrose, crested mutant that looks like a bright green brain that
"oozes" new growth.
Really odd. It is nearly spinless too so you can see the plant itself
and all of its odd forms and lines. It is rather tricky but you should
grow it fine if you have a layer of gravel on the top of the soil to
reduce the risk of rot. You can get it from (I dont work here, have any
interest in or frequent this company, but I did order from them a few
Grisby Cactus Garden
2326 Bella Vista Drive
Vista, CA 92084 USA
A number of other cacti are brain shaped. Cacti seem to tolerate the two
contditions "Monstrosity" and "Fascination" or "crest". A Monstrosity is
just that, something that generally has a contorted odd look. Plants
"afflicted" by monstrosity tend to have less than usual spines, or in
some cases a complete lack of them. Crests are when the apical meristem
becomes a long flattened shape. The growing point is not a single spot,
but has grown into a long line. This usually causes the cactus "pancake"
of sorts to fold back upon itself giving the appearence of a "brain".
There is another succulent (NOT a cactus, but a succulent) known as
Euphorbia. It has milky sap and a variety of forms. There is a form of
monstrose/crested Euphorbia being destributed that looked like a brain
for me when it was young but now looks like some kind of bizzare coral
formation. I think you can get this from the above mentioned address
There are a multitude of crested/monstrose cacti out there.
egilding at lava.net
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