Plants of the Week Oct 6-12

 Silver Torch Cactus (Cleistocactus strausii) and Chia Plant (Salvia hispanica)

woolycactus1

Photo of Wolly Torch Cactus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleistocactus_strausii)

Post by Joan Oates

The silver torch cactus or the wolly torch cactus has the scientific name, Cleistocactus strausii. This plant is native to the high mountain regions in Bolivia and Argentina. This plant is especially interesting because it can live in cold temperatures unlike many other cacti. This cactus can live in temperatures close to 10 degrees Celsius. Another cool fact about the Cleistocactus strausii is that when its flowers bloom, they grow horizontally. Most other cacti cannot grow their flowers in such a horizontal manner. The plant receives a lot of sunlight and water in the summer but during the winter, it receives almost no water. Even with the change in climate and change in amount of water and sunlight, the plant still thrives throughout the year. I also liked the way this plant looked. It actually looks like a silver torch when its flowers are not in bloom. And once the flowers are out, the contrast of the bright pink flower and the silver stem looks very interesting.

 

chia1

Photo of Chia Plant and Seeds from http://www.natural-healthy-eating.com/chia-seeds.html

Post by Whitney Lees

The Chia plant is a flowering plant that is indigenous to both central and southern Mexico, as well as southern Guatemala. Chia seeds have become a popular health food because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they have 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. The seeds found in this plant, that is a part of the mint family, can be consumed raw or can be put in certain liquids or foods to create a gelatin-like substance.