by Taby

xbrain cactus care 21708930
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My cactus is about 15 cm tall, and 8 cm wide
Is very thick, and looks like it has ‘stitches’ across the edges

I think this is called a brain cactus, but I am not sure! It could be a succulent.

My mom bought this at home depot, and I think he is absolutely adorable, and was wondering about how to care for it properly?

Hi Taby, this technically is not a cactus, but it is a succulent plant. This is one of the Euphorbias, which are quite poisonous.

If you have small creatures wandering around, please be careful with allowing them contact with it, and if you’re pruning it, be aware that the sap is caustic and can cause burns and contact dermatitis.

I don’t know why they sell these without putting warnings about their toxicity on them, but there you have it; my rant about box stores selling plants over now.

Botanically, this plant is known as Euphorbia flanaganii, which you can see more about on Dave’s Garden Website.

Hope that helps,

Comments for Brain Cactus Care?

Aug 07, 2020

Brain cactus
by: John Bennett

I have just purchased one of these plants and out of curiosity looking for other types, i am astonished to hear these are dangerous plants ?
I have several pets (thy cannot get to the plants) BUT i prune and splice them and cannot believe the sap is as bad as you say.
I will be looking into this and writing a letter and e-mail to the shop i bought it from. Thank you for your information. Yours John

May 31, 2019

Not spam
by: JJN

This cactus in the photo is in fact Echinopsis pachanoi forma cristata (Crested San Pedro Cactus) and not a Euphorbia.

Jul 22, 2017

Flower stem?
by: Jacki

Cathi, that would maybe be a flower stalk emerging. Sometimes they look completely different.

Alternately, if it’s a grafted plant, the root stock sometimes starts to take over, and eventually the grafted part dies out. You do not want this to happen! Maybe post a picture of your plant on the Ask the Horticulturist page.

Jul 22, 2017

by: Cathi

My Brain cactus is now huge and has a weird huge branch with waxy leaves growing out of it!
Do you know what that is?

Jul 13, 2013

What a choice!
by: Jacki

So, the one you’re referring to is actually Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica f. cristata and is different from Euphorbia flanaganii – they’re similar, but yours looks like the Euphorbia.

Mar 09, 2013

by: Anonymous

I happened to come across a picture of a plant which looked exactly like mine! The name they gave was ‘Opuntia cylindrica cristata’

Mar 09, 2013

by: Taby

Wow, thank you very much for letting me know!