Ladyfinger Cactus
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Ladyfinger Cactus
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Nishant Chauhan
Common name: Ladyfinger Cactus
Botanical name: Echinocereus pentalophus    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)
Synonyms: Cereus pentalophus

Ladyfinger Cactus is a branched plant with clumps up to 20 x 100 cm. Stems are weak, sprawling, soon prostrate 10-60 x 1-2 cm; ribs 4-5, crests sharp and straight to poorly defined and wavy; areoles 5-12 mm apart. Spines 4-7 per areole, usually very stiff and straight, yellowish, tan, ashy white to dark gray, or pale pink, tips dark, all round; radial spines 4-6 per areole, spreading, 6-37 mm; central spines 0-1 per areole, porrect or rising up, 4-36 mm. Flowers are large, 6-10 x 7.5-10 cm; flower tube 2-2.5 x 0.8-2 cm; flower tube hairs 3-6 mm; inner tepals brilliant pink or magenta distally with distinct white or yellow proximal regions of variable extent, 3.5-6 x 9-18 mm, tips relatively thin and delicate; anthers orange-yellow; nectar chamber 3-6 mm. Fruits are green, 1.5-2.5 cm, pulp white. Ladyfinger Cactus is native to Mexico, cultivated worldwide.

Identification credit: Nishant Chauhan Photographed in cultivation in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.

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