Help Identifying Cactus

Moontanman moontanman at aol.comnospam
Thu Apr 29 00:41:13 EST 2004

>My wife and I acquired a fairly curious cactus about two or three
>years ago and it has been getting more and more "curious" as time goes
>on. It's strange to me as I've never seen anything like it. It's very,
>very thin and keeps growing upwards as opposed to outwards. The thorns
>on it are more like tiny little, hairy bristles. And every so often
>from the base to the tip it seems to get a oddly placed 'bulge'. It
>also appears to grow in sections (I think this may be typical of
>cacti, but I'm not sure), with the spring section appear much brighter
>in coloration than the older sections.
>It's about a foot tall now (perhaps an inch over). I have a picture of
>it here -
>If someone could lend me some assistance in identifying what in the
>world this thing is it would be most appreciated. We live in Nebraska
>and it was given to us by some people we knew at the time as a gift
>(they spotted it growing in their garden area completely unannounced).
>Thanks in advance, 
I think it is almost certinly a species of Opuntia, possibly a hybrid or a
plant distrorted by light levels less than optimal. Possibly O. compressa,
Opuntias can vary greatly in form due to environmental conditions. I found a
specimen growing at the bottom of a pipe standing in an abandoned gas station
that looked like no other species i had ever seen but when given idea
conditions it turned out to be a species common to my area.

I breed dwarf crayfish for planted aquariums and grow trees in aquariums.
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