Last week my favorite cactus began to develop a brain-like growth. For the last ten days I have been tortured by the questions "What the heck is that brain growing on my Crown of Thorns?" and "What do I do with it?"
A little googling led me to this report (PDF) produced by the University of Florida Miami-Dade.
Seeds can be used to propagate E. milii, but are mainly used for developing new cvs. In Florida plants rarely produce fruit (a three lobed schizocarp) without help from man. Pollen release & receptivity of the stigma usually do not coincide for a single plant, which in nature encourages out-crossing. So you need 2 or more plants, preferably of different cvs. Controlled pollination increases seed set, & is used by breeders to develop new cvs. Seedlings will bloom in 5-8 months.
At least I'm not crazy for thinking the growth was "brain-like," since the three lobes are well defined. I am worried though, that my window of life is closing on this thing. I still have no idea what to do. If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it.