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Pencil Cactus Question of the week

OK, not to toot my own horn but I feel somewhat like my studies have sunk in since I suggested a virus........;-)
See my professor's answer below.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Mckenney, Cynthia"
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2007 10:19 PM
Subject: RE: Pencil Cactus Question of the week

Wow. I have had a pencil cactus and it never did that. So, this is totally a guess as I can't tell enough without seeing a bit more or touching it etc. What I did notice was it looks like lighter green speckles on the stems but not the leaves. If those are not lenticels then I think there is a virus. Viruses are able to cause many types of contortions. Infact, the varigation on a snake plant is virus induced as are some of the color patterns in tulips. That is a guess, not an answer.

Dr. Mck

Cynthia McKenney, Ed.D

Associate Professor of Horticulture
Dept. of Plant and Soil Science
M.S. 2122
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX  79409-2122
Ph: 806-742-2854
Fax:  806-742-2011
e-mail:  cynthia.mckenney@ttu.edu


From: Andrea Hodges [mailto:andreah@hargray.com]
Sent: Sun 8/12/2007 7:05 PM
To: Mckenney, Cynthia
Subject: Pencil Cactus Question of the week

Hey Dr. McK-will you please take a look at the pencil cactus in the url
posted and tell me what you think about why it's tying itself in knots? It's
a mystery to me and my gardening friends. I know plants can be MADE to do
that by hand but I'm told this one is doing it on its own.
----- Original Message -----
From: "james singer" <islandjim1@verizon.net>
To: "Garden Chat" <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2007 12:32 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Question of the week

Has anyone ever seen a pencil plant [Euphorbia tirycalli] tie itself in
a knot and/or know why it might do such a thing?


Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.1 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Sunset Zone 25
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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