Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the February 2, 2007 Newsletter issued from Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, QUERÉTARO, MÉXICO

Even in the Joya's cold, moist forest, cacti often put on a show. In certain areas tree limbs were draped with a slender, dangling, epiphytic, endemic cactus, APOROCACTUS MARTIANUS, sometimes known as Rat-tail Cactus. You can see it dangling from a mossy tree-stub topped with a gorgeously red-flowering bromeliad, Tilandsia imperialis, below:


A close-up of this species' stem and flowers is available here.

Up north a very similar and closely related species, Aporocactus flagelliformis, often is sold as a window plant. Our species is a bit more robust than that one but is seldom grown. Both species send out aerial roots and both produce diurnal, or day-blooming, blossoms especially attractive to hummingbirds.

This species must be very sensitive to subtle habitat variations because in some areas it was absent and in others abundant, even though I couldn't sense differences between the environments.