Succulent Gardening: The Art of Nature

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Idria columnaris

Idria columnaris, native to Arizona, Mexico and Baja California, is commonly known as the "Boojum" tree. In habitat, this bizarre xerophyte grows to 40' or more in height. Often forms forests, and grows alongside Yuccas, Pachycereus pringlei ("Cardon") and Ocotillo. As this plant grows skyward, it forms a single, tapering trunk with short pencil-like, spiny branches with deciduous leaves. As the plant grows older, sometimes the single trunks split near the top and form undulating, whiplike bizarre forms, especially in silhouette. Cream-colored tubular flowers near tops of trunk during July and August. Requires very porous soil with excellent drainage. Bright light to full sun. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Cold tolerant. They come from Central Baja California Mexico and areas in mainland Mexico. They are deciduous and grow to 50'. Grow in full sun. Water moderately when they have leaves and very little when dormant. They belong to the family Fouquieriaceae.

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