Myrtillocactus cochal Species
Cactus species Myrtillocactus cochal is a large sprawling, tree-like, candelabra cactus with funnel-shaped, pale green flowers which reaches heights of 8' to 10'+ feet tall and almost as wide. It has multiple, dark green branches with a very woody trunk once older. The branches have six to eight ribs, with a central spine along the middle, and shorter radial spines on each areola. The plant produces stunning, pale green, cupped flowers in late spring through early summer. They open during the day and stay open thru the night. After flowering, edible, slightly acidic, globular, red-purplish fruit appear. Makes an excellent landscape plant. Drought tolerant once well established. Produces very tasty fruit too!
Specimen size: 5" tall by 3" in diameter.
Common Name(s) : Cochal, Candelabra Cactus.
Synonym(s) : Cereus cochal, Cereus geometrizans var. cochal, Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. cochal
Native : Mexico-Baja California and Baja California Sur on the edge of the Sonoran Desert.
Flowers and Fruit : The flowers of Myrtillocactus Cochal are diurnal-(day blooming) and stay open into the evening, white to light green, sort of a chartreuse in color with a darker colored central stripe. Blooms average 1" inch in diameter. Small, round, edible reddish-purple fruits follow blooming, which occurs early spring to mid summer on mature plants.The small greenish-white flowers of Myrtillocactus Cochal attract insects and birds, especially hummingbirds, as pollinators.Commonly referred to as the "Candelabra Cactus," the Cochal is prized for its tasty fruit. The reddish-purple fruits are about the size of a large marble and have an acidic flavor similar to currants. They can be eaten in many forms, including drinks, empañadas, candies, and desserts.
More Info : Etymology -The genus name Myrtillocactus refers to the fruits which resemble those of the Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus).The first description of Myrtillocactus Cochal was as Cereus cochal in 1889 by Charles Russell Orcutt , Later in 1909 Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose placed the genus of this species into Myrtillocactus.Differences of Myrtillocactus Cochal verses Myrtillocactus geometrizans ; These two species look very similar especially as young plants, main differences are Myrtillocactus Cochal is shorter in overall height, more thorny, less bluish hues in stem growth and the fruit is reddish-purple in color. Myrtillocactus geometrizans besides differences in stem growth mentioned above has blueish colored fruits-click the link provided below to compare one to the other.Click the links below to view either Myrtillocactus geometrizans or variations of this species, which we also grow.
Another variation of M.G. is of a rare and unusual, (monstrose form) of a Japanese hybrid variety called Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv 'Fukurokuryuzinboku' click the link below to view this variety.
This (crested form) linked below of Myrtillocactus geometrizans is like a piece of artwork-each is unique, click the link below to view this (crested form).
Care : Myrtillocactus Cochal likes full sun to some shade, regular water in summer for fast growth and little to no water in winter. Semi-rich good draining soil mix with some substrate added such as coarse sand or decomposed gravel. Cold hardy to 28 degrees but only for brief periods, provide winter protection in cold locations.