Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle)

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) after I brought it home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on 11-22-19, #654-1.

Eve’s Needle, Cane Cholla, Eve’s Pin, Eve’s Needle Cactus, Eve’s Pin Cactus, Long Spine Cactus, Eve’s Pin Prickly Pear

Austrocylindropuntia subulata

oss-troh-sil-in-droh-PUN-tee-uh  sub-yoo-LAH-tuh

Synonyms of Austrocylindropuntia subulata (4) (Updated 12-4-22): Cylindropuntia subulata (Muehlenpf.) F.M.Knuth (1930), Opuntia subulata (Muehlenpf.) Engelm. (1883), Pereskia subulata Muehlenpf. (1845), Pereskiopsis subulata (Muehlenpf.) Britton & Rose (1916)
Synonyms of Austrocylindropuntia subulata subsp. exaltata (A.Berger) D.R.Hunt (4) (Updated on 12-4-22 from POWO):
 Austrocylindropuntia exaltata (A.Berger) Backeb. (1942), Cylindropuntia exaltata (A.Berger) Backeb. (1936), Opuntia exaltata A.Berger (1912), Opuntia subulata var. exaltata (A.Berger) G.D.Rowley (1972 publ. 1974)
Synonyms of Austrocylindropuntia subulata subsp. subulata (3) (Updated on 12-4-22 from POWO): Opuntia ellemeetiana Miq. (1859), Opuntia segethii Phil. (1879), Pereskia affinis Meinsh. (1859)

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Muehlenpf.) Backeb. is the accepted name for this species of cactus. It was described as such by Curt Backeberg in Cactaceae in 1941. It was first named Pereskia subulata by Philipp August Friedrich Muehlenpfordt and described in Allgemeine Gartenzeitung in 1845. Then the name was changed to Opuntia subulata by Georg (George) Engelmann and described in Gardener’s Chronicle in 1883.

Accepted Infraspecific Names (2) (Updated on 12-4-22 from POWO): Austrocylindropuntia subulata subsp. exaltata (A.Berger) D.R.Hunt (2002), *Austrocylindropuntia subulata subsp. subulata (autonym). *When an infraspecific taxon is named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms… 

The genus, Austrocylindropuntia Backeb., was named and described as such by Curt Backeberg in Blatter für Kakteenforschung (Bulletin of Cactus Research) in 1938.

As of 12-4-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 7 species in the Austrocylindropuntia genus. It is a member of the plant family Cactaceae with 150 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) on 11-22-19, #654-2.

I found this little Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) from Wagler’s Greenhouse on 11-22-19 so I brought it home. I previously had an Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata (Crested Eve’s Needle) that died in the winter of 2014. I forgot to measure this little plant when I brought it home…


Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) at 4 1/2″ tall on 10-15-20, #747-13.

When I brought the plants inside for the winter on October 15 in 2020, the little Austrocylindropuntia subulata measured 4 1/2″ tall and already had an offset.

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) on 10-15-20, #747-14.

Austrocylindropuntia subulata is native to the high elevations of Ecuador and Peru in South America. They are a large tree-like species that can grow up to 13 feet tall. They have round cylindrical joints that can grow up to 2’ tall and 2 1/2 inches thick.


Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) at 6″ tall on 8-17-21, #826-13.

I measured the plants on the from porch on August 17 in 2021 and the Austrocylindropuntia subulata measured 6′ tall and had another offset. The plant “was” in the center of the pot…


Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) at 7″ tall on 10-16-22, #919-3.

When I moved the potted plants inside for the winter on October 16 in 2022, the offset of the original Austrocylindropuntia subulata measured 7″ tall. I forgot to repot it to put it back in the center of the pot. 🙂

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) on 10-16-22, #919-4.

It’s funny how the offset is now taller…

The species as a whole are a semi-hardy cactus that does NOT like temps below 25° F (-4°C). They prefer their night temperatures not to fall below 40° although the species can tolerate some light frost.

Common Name: Eve’s Needle
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: The species is a native of Ecuador and Peru in South America
Zones: USDA Zones 9a to 10b (20 to 40 °F/−6.7 °to +4.4 °C).
Height: 12-20” (one website said 4’ tall x 10’ wide!)
Light: Full sun to part shade (depending on your climate)
Water: Provide regular water during the summer months and very little during the winter.
Soil: Very well-draining. Good quality potting soil amended with pumice (50/50) or additional pumice and chicken grit (2-1-1).
Repotting: Some information says they like to be “underpotted” while another says to provide adequate space for their “large root system”… Seriously, a cactus with a large root system?

This has been an interesting plant to watch grow and doesn’t seem to have any issues. 

You can read my Cactus Talk & Update and Cactus & Succulent Tips to get my opinion about growing cactus and succulents.

When you bring your new plants home from the store, you need to check their roots and the soil to see if they are wet. If so, you may want to re-pot it right away. It is advisable to re-pot them in a better potting soil more suitable for cactus and succulents.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.