Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Hatoria salicornoides

Here's a nice tough house plant, although ours resides outside for almost half of the year.  It's name if Hatoria salicornoides, a specific epithet that means "like Salicornia", a halophyte (salt-loving) marsh or tidal plain plant (glasswort, pickleweed) with lots of sort of knobby branches that are narrow at their base and widening abruptly toward the apex. TPP sort of sees the resemblance, but not really. At any rate the plant is a much branched cactus whose stems become woody with age. Here in January a golden bell of a flower forms at the end of each branch so the flowering display is considerable, hundreds of flowers.
This tropical cactus is an epiphyte with drooping branches and it grows well in a mixture of fine orchid mix and cactus soil in a hanging basket, which gets hung on a big shepard's hook in some light shade beyond our patio. Once or twice squirrels have chewed on it and inflicted some considerable damage, but the plant has always recovered.  The plant deals with the household dryness of winter and needs watering only about once a week when outside, often taken care of by rain. While not spectacular, it's a very nice reliable plant and showier than the more common Rhipsalis species people often have. 

1 comment:

William M. Connolley said...

O/T, but you might like