Maihuenia poeppigii 

This member of the Cactaceae (Cactus) family hails from Southern Chile. It grows at high altitude (1500 m+) in extremely xeric regions of Patagonia mainly in volcanic ashfields in subalpine forests, thin grassland and stony plateaux.  The foliage is formed by a dense mass of dark green, cylindrical and prickly needle-like leaves. It keeps its leaves in the winter.  15 cm x 1 m.  Beautiful, large, soft, satiny, lemon-yellow flowers in late spring, apparently. This plant is courtesy of Mike – our local seaweed expert with an unbridled passion for cacti – preferably from seed.

Mike gave this to me Christmas 2016. I put it in a pot looking for a nice hot sun, crappy soil spot. But I do have a lot of shade and nice rich thick loam. Hmmmm.  It survived the Winter of 17 (shudder) without a blink.  So time to find it a spot. Ahh, right where a few Hebes bit the dust this winter. Fingers crossed we see flowers soon.


Author: joannewesterby

Although I lived in Ontario for 25 years, Vancouver Island has always been home to me. 15 years ago we bought a "little house on the prairie" in Brant County, just outside Hamilton, Ancaster and Brantford, Ontario. Over the years, with a lot of sweat, determination, luck, skill, frustration, elation and endurance we turned that 2 acre clay field into an amazing chronicled in Through Leaves. When we recently retired we immediately came back 'home' to the Coast. We have settled in beautiful central Vancouver Island at the edge of Nanaimo on 1/2 acre with a mature shrub garden adjacent to a ravine that winds its way up to Westwood Lake and eventually Mount Benson. Although the garden is mature and is very overgrown, too homogenous for my liking and needs my personal stamp! I am dizzy with the possibilities!!!

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