Lophocereus schottii var. monstrous, also known as “Monstrose Organ Pipe Cactus,” is a unique and visually captivating variety of the species Lophocereus schottii. It is a rare and sought-after cactus that displays fascinating and irregular growth patterns, resulting in a distorted and “monstrous” appearance compared to the typical form of the species.
The Monstrose Organ Pipe Cactus is characterized by its contorted, twisted, and irregularly shaped stems or branches. Instead of the usual columnar growth habit seen in the standard Lophocereus schottii, the monstrous variety exhibits unpredictable and mutated growth, often forming fascinating contortions, crests, and undulating shapes. These unusual growth patterns make each plant unique and contribute to their allure among cactus enthusiasts and collectors.
The stems of Lophocereus schottii var. monstrous are typically thick, columnar, and segmented, similar to the typical variety. They can grow to considerable heights, reaching up to several meters (or more) in their natural habitat. The stems have prominent vertical ribs, usually with shallow or indistinct grooves between them. These ribs are lined with clusters of small, sharp spines that aid in the plant’s protection against herbivores and excessive sunlight.
This cactus variety is usually green in color, although it may display variations such as pale green or even bluish hues. The monstrous growth forms often exhibit a compact and densely clustered appearance, with the twisted stems growing in a chaotic and irregular manner.
When it comes to cultivation, Lophocereus schottii var. monstrous requires similar care to the standard variety. It thrives in arid and desert-like conditions, necessitating full sun exposure and well-draining soil. Like other cacti, it is adapted to survive in dry environments and has low water requirements. Overwatering should be avoided to prevent root rot. It is crucial to allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions.
The Monstrose Organ Pipe Cactus can be propagated through stem cuttings. The mutated growth forms are often considered desirable and sought after by collectors, making this variety relatively rare and more expensive compared to the standard Lophocereus schottii.
In conclusion, Lophocereus schottii var. monstrous is a captivating and unusual cactus variety that showcases distorted and “monstrous” growth forms. Its unique appearance, combined with its relatively low maintenance requirements, makes it a prized addition to cactus collections and desert-themed landscapes.