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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Coral Cactus?


Do you remember the movie "Mars Attacks" in which a human head has been grafted to the body of a dog?   The result was a bit shocking and a lot funny.  The sight of "Coral Cactus" reminds me of that scene for some reason.   This man-made plant is neither coral (there is coral color on some of them) nor cactus.


Rather, it's a graft of Euphorbia lactea crest (interesting article about euphorbia vs. cacti here.) atop  Euphorbia neriifolia.   These are usually sold potted with glued-together gravel mulch which isn't particularly good for the plant so they should be repotted after purchase.

That's actually been done to some of these.  

When thinking of grafted cacti, my mind goes here first. 


These are certainly interesting plants. 

Have you grown one of these?  Do you have strong feelings about them one way or another?  

28 comments:

  1. These Frankenplants kind of freak me out.

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    1. They won't hurt you...unless you like that sort of thing.

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  2. Does the Euphorbia lactea etc. etc. have problems growing on it's own? I'm not a big fan of the grafted thingies, but these, especially, look a little awkward perched on their stump--unless it's quicker to propagate or necessary somehow.

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    1. from an image search, both plants grow just fine and are fairly interesting on their own.

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  3. I am not a fan of fasciation and the Euphorbia lactea crest sends me thinking about even more bizarre and gross plant mutations. No thank you.

    Did you buy one?

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    1. Hi. I think these are pretty, but I don't know what they are.

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    2. I knew you wouldn't be a fan, Danger! No, I didn't buy one. Someone has too many plants already!

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    3. Hi heart! I recognize that picture and am glad you found my blog. Looking forward to reading more of yours.

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  4. Hmm...a little creepy for me but interesting. That has some merit, being interesting, right?

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    1. Interesting has merit but I'll respect and enjoy them in other collections.

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  5. Like you said, neither coral nor cactus and I wonder what is the point of all this. And yet, I find the pink edges quite fetching, like ruffles on a skirt. If one needs a little something in their cubicle at work, maybe this could do the trick.

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    1. The ones with pink edges are sweet and I think that the plant from which the top part of the graft came might be interesting to grow by itself.

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  6. I'm going to completely ignore the main subject of the post and focus on the sidebar: I was working at a toy company when Mars Attack! came out, and our company created the toys for the movie. At the same time we were prototyping some baby doll type toys, and I was able to put a Martian head onto the baby doll plush body. It sat upon my computer monitor until the day I left, and I still have the creepy, cool, hilarious thing.

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    1. I love that movie and thinking of your creation makes me smile!

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  7. I agree with Alison. It's certainly interesting, though. ;-)

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  8. Strong feelings...of love. See...all of you freaked out by them? There's always at least one weirdo out there.

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    1. How cool that you love them! I'm not freaked out but do feel kind of sorry for them.

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  9. Now that's different ! But don't get me any ok ...ha

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    1. Rats! There goes my plan for your Christmas gift next year.

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  10. I do have one. I felt sad for it stranded at Home Depot. I didn't know you should re pot it...poor thing. It is still alive a year later. I will re pot it tomorrow. It is very bizarre and I can't say I would seek out another but it seems happy with the other succulents on my old bakers rake.

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    1. The website I found said that they should be re potted if they're surrounded by the glued gravel mat but if it's still alive a year later, maybe that's not necessary. One of these would look good combined with other succulents.

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  11. I almost bought one of the crested types last year but I couldn't quite bring myself to do it. I don't recall any glued gravel - just that they were ridiculously expensive. Natural crested euphorbia are fine alternatives in my book.

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  12. Not my thing, but bully for those who like them. To each his/her own.

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    1. There's a plant for everyone, isn't there?

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  13. Ha! I almost spit water at my computer from your comparing the grafted euphorbias to the womans head grafted on the dog body in Mars Attacks. Now I have an urge to watch that movie again. I haven't seen that in years. I'm not a fan of grafted plants in general, because I don't like having to worry about the root stock sending up water sprouts and taking over. Grafted succuelents are even worse. I just find them too jarring, visually. It's like some glued-together plastic souvenir statue.

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    1. Isn't it grand that we all like/dislike/grow different plants but the love of growing them unites us? These aren't really my cup of tea but then I never dreamed that I'd have any of the grafted cactus mutants (you know, the fluorescent cactus sports that have no chlorophyll are kept alive by grafting.) but three somehow showed up in my greenhouse and the colors are kind of cheerful during the winter months.

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  14. Weird and a little creepy. I prefer plants made by nature. :o)

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.