Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis, Brazilian Tree Opuntia, is a tall growing arborescent opuntiad with a distinctive habit. It is often hard to tell one opuntiad from another but not so with Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis - it is instantly recognisable and forms the only species in its genus. Over time the central cladodes form a tall cylindrical and tapering stem that gradually turns tough and 'woody' near the base and from which the younger bright green lateral cladodes form branches. The dark brown spines are barbed and fierce.
Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis is an attractive plant and becomes an impressive sculptural specimen that can be shaped as you wish by the removal of lateral cladodes. The shape of the tall central stem is encouraged by favouring and leaving each new uppermost and central cladode. Although cold tolerant, Brasiliopuntia brasilensis is not frost hardy and it is for indoors or glasshouse only although it will enjoy a spell outside durng the summer. Because of its eventual large size, it is ideally suited to a conservatory and should be situated away from any high-traffic throughfares where children or pets could brush up against it and catch the odd spine or two.
|Synonyms||Brasiliopuntia argentina, Brasilopuntia bahiensis, Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis subsp. bahiensis, Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis subsp. subacarpa, Brasilopuntia neoargentina, Brasilopuntia schulzii, Brasilopuntia subcarpa, Cactus arboreus, Cactus brasiliensis, Cactus paradoxus, Cereus paradoxus, Opuntia arborea, Opuntia argentina, Opuntia bahiensis, Opuntia brasiliensis, Opuntia brasiliensis subsp. bahiensis, Opuntia brasiliensis subsp. subacarpa, Opuntia hieronymi, Opuntia neoargentina, Opuntia schulzii|
|Geographical Origin||Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina|
|Cultivation||Full sun. A loose, dry, well-drained substrate. Ideal in a large terracotta pot in a conservatory in a spot where it is not going to be accidently brushed up against by children or pets. Water sparingly. Don't water at all through the winter|
|Hardiness||Tender. Outside in the summer months only|
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