Pencil Cactus

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by desert rose, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. desert rose

    desert rose Member

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    N Venice, Florida
    I have been recently cleaning out a flower bed that was extremely over grown & I was told I have a pencil Catus, after reading how Toxic it could be if you get the sap on your skin I am considering pulling it out, although this one is strange & I have questions.
    It's extremely top heavy & is mostly on the ground, it has some leaves at the tip & some red star-like flowers as well. I told you it was interesting.
    If I do decide to relocate this enormous plant to a different location in the garden I was wondering if it can be staked up? or would it grow better on a trellis? it's at least 4 feet tall when I hold it out straight.
    Does anyone have any suggestions how to deal with this very interesting but strange looking plant, I looked at the other photos but mine is different.
    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    can you post some pics of it? sounds like it fell over at some point (either from breakage or it was knocked over) and it's just continued to grow.

    you can cut pieces and then root them and start new plants...or you can just dig up the rootball and move the whole thing in one piece.

    regardless, make sure you wear protective covering! use throw-away gloves, goggles and coveralls - then just chuck everything when you're done. any sap that gets on you or on the tools needs to be washed off. i'd also lay down drop cloths to catch the sap that comes out of any cut pieces or any pieces that break during the move...again, use throw away stuff so you can easily clean up and just toss it.
     
  3. desert rose

    desert rose Member

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    Thank you so much I appreciate your reply I will take pics today & send to you, it's really strange looking.
     
  4. desert rose

    desert rose Member

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    Giant Pencil Cactus

    Here is a picture of the huge Pencil Cactus I have, Any thoughts on how to stake it up without getting attached!
     

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  5. koipondgardener

    koipondgardener Active Member

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    Re: Giant Pencil Cactus

    I say whack it and start new, from cuttings. They root easily within a month. It seems like a better idea to me than wrestling it to the upright position, all the while trying to do minimal damage. Just my opinion though, to avoid being covered in sticky potentially dangerous sap (only dangerous if you have sensitive skin.)
     
  6. desert rose

    desert rose Member

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    Re: Giant Pencil Cactus

    Thank you, I did just that, it's not worth the effort in this heat.
     
  7. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Nope, that's not a pencil cactus ((Euphorbia tirucalli) It looks more like a pedilanthus (devils Backbone) A member of the Euphorbia plant family
     
  8. desert rose

    desert rose Member

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    wow, really, Oh well I took it out & put a frangapani (spelled wrong I am sure) tree instead.
    Thank you for the info I appreciate it.
     
  9. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I was just going to say - that's not a pencil tree (Euphorbia tirucalli), it's Red Birds or Devil's Backbone (Pedilanthus tithymaloides.) Still caustic, but nowhere near as bad as pencil tree sap.

    The Frangipani should also be approached with care; it is a close relative of Oleander, and has toxic (ie extremely poisonous) sap. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly, as a surgeon would, after you handle it, or wear disposable gloves. Lovely flowers, though.
     

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