English name: Eve’s Needle/Long-spined cactus
Nazwa łacińska: Austrocylindropuntia subulata
Family: Cactus - Cactaceae
Origin: Ecuador, Peru
This plant is found naturally in the Andes, at heights of 2,000 to 3,000 metres above sea level in semi-arid areas characterized by cool and dry winters, as well as mild and somewhat rainy summers. The austrocylindropuntia subulata has a columnar form, growing to heights of 4 cm. The raised stems, between 6 and 10 cm. in diameter, are at first green, while older specimens may have a brownish colour. The stems are covered with areoles, each with about eight spines. This succulent does not produce a single stem; it branches not far above the ground surface, giving the plant a bushy shape. The stems are covered by thorny leaves, about 12 cm. in length, which stay on the plant for a long time.
The red-coloured flowers, about 6 cm. long, appear at the top of the stem. The fruits are green and egg-shaped, 10 cm. in length. The long-spined cactus may be cultivated as a potted plant. In its natural habitat, it is used by local inhabitants to create tight, impassable hedge barriers. The species is found on the CITES list, created according to the international convention on trade in species of wild plants and animals that are threatened with extinction.