I am continuing today to celebrate 2019 with my top 10s for the year. In this post, I will discuss my Top 10 Cacti and Euphorbia of 2019.

Cacti and Euphorbia are some of my very favorite plants to collect and grow, so making this list was both incredibly fun and hard! Let me know what you think of these choices in the comments below!

What would you choose?

1. Astrophytum myriostigma

This cactus is also known as Bishop’s cap cactus. It is very unique as it is often spineless and has a gorgeous, star-shaped appearance. When I first saw these plants I really did not think they were cactus at all, but some other type of succulent.

They are very drought tolerant and slow growers, like other cacti. They also have the characteristic areoles, confirming they are definitely cacti! Pick up one of these beauties if you see one. I was lucky enough to find one locally.

2. Astrophytum asteria

Astrophytum asteria is another species of Astrophytum, cousins of the plant above. It is often called the sea urchin cactus due to its round, segmented appearance. These plants are very popular in Japan, particularly the cultivar called Super Kabuto or Superkabuto (I’ve seen it written both ways).

Super Kabuto is characterized by large amounts of variegation in the form of white spots nearly covering the flesh of the Astrophytum. It is very beautiful, but carries a much higher price tag than most A. asterias.

3. Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku

This cactus has recently become very popular on social media due to its risque appearance, which also gave it the common name of “boob cactus” or “titty cactus.”

It is a fantastic plant for feminists or those looking to collect unique cacti specimens. In addition to the unique form, it also has a beautiful blue, waxy sheen! This cactus is a must-have, in my opinion!

4. Tephrocactus geometricus

Unlike most of the cacti on this list which are shades of green or blue-green, this cactus is a nearly gray color! It grows in spherical balls, creating incredibly interesting geometric designs.

I’ve read that these plants can also become a blue or purple color if grown under high light, though I’ve not seen this myself! I will update this post with a photo if my cactus ever expresses these colors.

5. Myrtillocactus geometrizans

Myrtillocactus geometrizan is one of my all-time favorite cacti. It is often inexpensive and so pleasing to the eye. Covered in a waxy coating, it reflects light in a different way than many cacti which gives it a deep blue to turquoise color, depending on the plant.

The shape of these cacti is also beautiful. It is a more classic shape, which I find to be super charming.

6. Cereus forbesii cv. Spiralis

This is another cactus that has become more popular on social media recently due to its unique form. These cacti are known for their amazing spiraling columns and impressive sizes.

This is sometimes described as a mutant cactus as the spiraling behavior was not the natural growth pattern of this cactus.

7. Euphorbia obesa

Euphorbia obesa is often called the baseball cactus because, when small, it is round and globular like a baseball. It has beautiful ranges of colors and blooms in Spring. As it grows, the plant stretches upward, looking less like a baseball and more like a cylinder with rounded ends.

8. Euphorbia lactea ‘Dragon bones’

This plant is one of my absolute favorites (if not my favorite) of the Euphorbias. It has a candelabra appearance, branching harshly in various directions. The skin of the plant is milky-white with some areas of darker greenish-gray peaking through.

It is like no other plant I’ve ever seen. Some people do call it the “White Ghost Candleabra Cactus” because of its appearance. Do not be fooled, however, it is not a cactus! Many euphorbias do thrive under care very similar to cacti, though, and are commonly sought after by cacti enthusiasts (like me!).

Euphorbia lactea variegata chimera

I wanted to mention in this section that there is also a chimeric version of this Euphorbia which expresses defined areas of creamy white and defined areas of rich green that is harder to find and absolutely gorgeous.

Several months ago I purchased a tiny, unrooted cutting of a chimeric plant (pictured here) that I can’t wait to see grow.

9. Euphorbia horrida

Euphorbia horrida looks like a plant from another planet to me, which is part of what I love about it. It has a rough exterior covered with spikes along the margins. These spikes, in spring, emerge as hot pink and fade to grayish-blue in fall and winter.

There are several cultivars of these species, all very interesting to look at. Unlike many Euphorbia that can be not watered for the winter, these Euphorbia are from an area that receives water throughout winter so I do water it occasionally. It is still much less than during the growing season, however.

10. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii

This cactus is also called the chin cactus. It is this species that is typically grafted on dragonfruit to create a moon cactus.

They are available in many different colors and cultivars, especially overseas in Thailand where they are grown specifically for bright variegation. You can also buy fully green varieties that are equally lovely.

I became obsessed with these cacti after I removed the grafted cactus from my dragonfruit stalk of my moon cactus because it was weakening the dragonfruit. (If you don’t know what I am talking about, click here to read my post about moon cacti)

While I was happy to save the dragonfruit, I missed having a chin cactus and set out to find a new one that didn’t need a dragonfruit stalk to live. I now have 3 different cacti, 2 that are the species above and one green one that is a different species. They are lovely, petite cactus that I highly recommend!

Pictured below is my green chin cactus, a Gymnocalycium baldianum

Honorable mentions:

Astrophytum capricorne var. niveum

Melocactus azureus

I didn’t write anything for these two. I feel like the pictures do a great job of showing how gorgeous they are and I have to head out soon to holiday festivities! See you all in the next post!

Do you like cacti or euphorbia? What’s your favorite?

Click to read yesterday’s Top 10 of 2019 post: Top 10 of 2019: My Favorite Houseplants of the Year!

Click to read last week’s article: Better Ways to Know that Your Houseplant Needs to Be Watered

A Natural Curiosity
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