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.
I despaired when my Clematis armandii fell off the pergola this winter and landed in a tangled frozen mess onto the deck for 3+ weeks. I waited for a titch of a thaw and then ever so gently tried to maneuver it back up onto the pergola. Not good! But I managed to get it propped at least and once everything thawed I bungy-ed it back up to the pergola and let a few vines cascade over the Magnolia Stellata. But I had very little hope. But…a wafting scent is lingering over the pergola these days…lots of deader than dead leaves, but a few flowers and some virile new shoots!!! It lives!! Hallelujah.