Cereus forbesiI f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ as I bought it on 7-15-09. Photo #22-2.

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’

KER-ee-us FORBZ-ee-eye mon-STROHZ

SYNONYMS: Cereus cochabambensis Cárdenas, Cereus cochabambensis var. longicarpa Cárdenas, Cereus comarapanus Cárdenas, Cereus hankeanus F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum., Cereus huilunchu Cárdenas, Piptanthocereus comarapanus (Cárdenas) F.Ritter, Piptanthocereus forbesii (C.F.Först.) Riccob., Piptanthocereus hankeanus (F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.) Riccob., Piptanthocereus huilunchu (Cárdenas) F.Ritter, Piptanthocereus labouretianus Riccob.

Cereus forbesii C.F. Först. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of cacti. It was described as such by Carl Friedrich Förster in Handbuch der Cacteenkunde in 1846. However, it was FIRST described in 1844 as Cereus forbesii Otto by Christoph Friedrich Otto (with other authors) in Cacteae in Horto Dyckensi Cultae. For some reason, Otto’s description was not accepted or validly published. However, some websites do list Otto as the accepted author.

Dave’s Garden continues to list Cereus validus f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ as the accepted species. According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, Cereus validus is a synonym of Cereus hildmannianus. Tropicos from Missouri Botanical Gardens, says Cereus validus is a synonym of Cereus forbesii and Cereus forbesii is a synonym of Cereus validus… Hmmm…

I wrote a lengthy discussion about which websites said what on this page in 2017 but then decided to rewrite it… Most websites are on track with Plants of the World Online now as The Plant List is no longer maintained.

The genus, Cereus Mill., was named and described by Philip Miller in the fourth edition of The Gardeners Dictionary in 1754. Plants of the World Online by Kew currently list 26 accepted species in the Cereus genus (as of 10-27-19 when I am updating this page). That number is subject to change. The Plant List (not maintained since 2013), listed 48 accepted species (plus 4 infraspecific names) a total of 254 synonyms, and 456 unresolved names. So, the people in charge have been working hard to get the Cereus genus organized. So many species had multiple scientific names.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing on 8-7-09, #27-16.

I bought my first Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 7-15-09 at Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi when I was living at the mansion in Leland. I thought the plant was so AWESOME and weird looking that I just had to bring it home. It was the first of many cacti for me and it taught me a lot.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing in a larger pot on 9-3-09, #31-19.

Cereus forbesii is native to parts of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay and grows in a variety of habitats. The species is shrubby and tree-like with many branches and can grow up to 21 feet tall. GEEZ!!! The species looks nothing like the monstrose or other forms that can mutate. The monstrose form CAN appear in nature OR in the horticulture field. It happens when the main stem is damaged by a hungry and curious insect or on purpose by humans or aliens and then it starts mutating. Ummm, maybe I should leave out the alien part.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing on 5-10-10, #55-13.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Origin: Cereus forbesii is native to parts of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The cultivar ‘Ming Thing’ is of human origin.
Zones: USDA zones 10a-11. Although they are cold tolerant down to 30 degrees F, they prefer temps above 40. Frost is not a good idea and can leave them scarred for life.
Sun: Sun to part shade. Although information says they do well in full sun, the species does well in a variety of habitats. I always grew mine in light to part shade because sometimes mutations do not adapt well to full sun like the species they are from.
Water: They like regular watering during the warmer months but prefer it on the dry side during the cooler months while inside for the winter (or outside where they are hardy. 

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing on 9-15-10, #59-17.

When I repotted this plant, I noticed I could divide it. So, I did. I named them #1, #2 and #3. #2 died sometime in 2012 so I brought the two with me when I moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013.

 

<<<<2013>>>>

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 4-27-13, #141-7. #1 (on the right) measured 4 3/4″ tall x 5 3/8″ wide. #3 (on the left) measured 5 1/2″ tall x 6″ wide.

I had to keep most of the plants in the basement for the remainder of th winter. They did fine for the most part.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ #1 on 6-1-13, #151-25.

But they were glad when spring came and they could be moved outside. I picked a spot next to a shed to rebuild the plant tables I brought from Mississippi. This plant had weird spots but I didn’t realize what they were at first…

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ #3 on 8-23-13, #178-35.

Doing very well…

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ #1 on 9-17-13, #188-28.

Sometimes we do things we regret later on. I always regretted dividing this plant but I suppose I did it as an experiment and because I wanted more.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ #2 on 9-17-13, #188-29.

There was something weird going on with some of the cactus. Something was chewing on them and I couldn’t figure it out. Sometimes during the day, I would see a grasshopper on the plants but they weren’t chewing on the cactus. One night I decided to go out with the flashlight and see if something was doing it during the night. Sure enough, it was crickets. I suppose that was what nibbled on #1 while in Mississippi.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing on 7-12-14, #7-12-14.

Unfortunately, I gave up my two large and AWESOME Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ in 2014 and most of the other plants.

 

<<<<2016>>>>

My new Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 7-19-16, #274-22.

FORTUNATELY, THOUGH, I FOUND ANOTHER ONE, although MUCH smaller at Wal-Mart on 2-1-16.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing on 5-31-17, #339-6.

The plant was pretty nice and well shaped…

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 9-5-17, #371-8.

Of course, the crickets had to sample this one, too. The two little plants in the pot are from the Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother-of-Thousands).

I had to move the plants inside for the winter on 10-17-17. I always photograph and measure the cactus when I move them inside and it measured it on 10-17-17 and it was 2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide… SO, it is growing although VERY SLOWLY!

<<<<2018>>>>

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 7-30-18, #488-7.

Still alive and kicking and enjoying the great outdoors! I moved the plants from around the shed to the front and back porch of the house on July 4. I put this plant with the cactus on the back porch. The Japanese Beetle invasion was getting pretty bad and they were starting to chew on some of the plants. The plant tables were under a Chinese Elm tree that the beetles love.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 10-10-18, #519-17.

When I moved the plants inside for the winter on October 10 I had to measure them again. The last time I measured was October 17, 2017. So, after one year, this cactus measures 2 1/8″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide. It seems it has grown 1/8″ taller but it is still the same width.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 11-29-18, #534.

November 29 was a nice spring-like day so I took the cactus outside for a photoshoot.

 

A closer look at Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 12-1-18, #535-2.

I was making a new post about the cactus in my small collection comparing the spines of the different genus and species. Of course, this “monstrous” or “monstruosus” form of Cereus forbesii has very few spines if any. Mine appears to have none and neither did the one I had before. I have seen a few photos online with a few. It reminds of folded hands with the fingers pointing inward.

 

<<<<2019>>>>

Cereus forbesii f. monstrous ‘Ming Thing’ on 6-22-19, #593-6.

All the cactus made it through the winter with flying colors and were glad to be back outside. They are on the back porch again which seems to be a much better location. No crickets to snack on the Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on the porch.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ at 2 1/4″ tall x 3 1/2″wide on 10-11-19, #639-13.

Once again it was time to move the plants inside for the winter on October 11, 2019. This time, the Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ measured 2 1/4″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide. That is 1/4″ taller than in 2017 but it is still the same width.

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. If you can’t “Like” or post a comment, you can email me at thebelmontrooster@yahoo.com.

Ummm… How do I even add links for further reading when very few are even in agreement? I can’t list a link for Llifle because it contradicts itself… Says a species is a synonym of one species and when you check its a synonym of another… Maybe in the future botanists, horticulturalists, collectors, scientists, etc. will come together and figure it out… The X’s are for future links. 🙂

FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
WIKIPEDIA (GENUS/SPECIES)
DAVE’S GARDEN
CACTUSGUIDE
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2 comments on “Cereus forbesiI f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’

  1. polunoch says:

    very interesting! thanx! I also looked for the difference between cereus forbesii and cereus validus…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there! Glad you liked the page. The popular Cereus species are like a big circle. They are named, renamed, put back and forth… Currently, as of right now because I just looked, according to Plants of the World Online, Cereus forbesii IS an accepted name and Cereus validus is a synonym of Cereus hildmannianus. The problem is, when it comes to Plants of the World Online (who claim to the most up-to-date database) they aren’t necessarily the best when it comes to cactus and succulents. Botanists and horticulturalists all want to be right (well, I guess that is my opinion). For many years, many cacti had multiple names. At one point, Cereus forbesii was a synonym of Cereus validus. LLIFLE (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) say Cereus forbesii is a synonym of Cereus hankeanus but POWO doesn’t even list a Cereus hankeanus. Now, if you are looking for the correct name of Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’… Even Dave’s Garden says it is Cereus validus f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’. Will the botanists someday be in agreement? I doubt it. Thanks for your comment and I would love to have your opinion.

      Like

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