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Passed-down holiday cactus

Do you have a Christmas cactus your grandmother or mother passed down to you?

This is a plant that is the ultimate pass-along plant, since it is so easy to root. Just pinch off a Y-shaped piece from one of the branches, stick it in a pot of sterile soil, and it will root in no time.

Debra Spillers presented an informative program on the Christmas cactus at the Cultura Garden Club in November. Did you know there are also Thanksgiving cacti and Easter cacti?   

The difference between the three cacti is in the shape of the leaves. The Thanksgiving cactus has pointed and claw-shaped projections on the edges of the leaf. The Christmas cactus has leaf projections that are more scalloped or tear-drop shaped. The Easter cactus has flat-segmented leaves, but the shape is much subtler to the Christmas cactus.

Each of these succulents derived their names from the time of the year they typically flower in North America. They are referred to as “holiday cacti,” and the identification confusion is between the Christmas cactus and the Thanksgiving cactus because they look similar. Since they both bloom in late fall or winter and are beautiful plants, consumers are not likely to care exactly which one they have purchased.

The Easter cactus has a more star-shaped flower and blooms in the spring months of April and May. The flowers are royal purple, red or pink and brighter than the Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus.

Debra also gave information about how to care for and how to keep a holiday cactus blooming.

Holiday cacti make beautiful gifts. So, move over poinsettias – the Christmas cactus is a must-have for not only the holidays but for a long time.

Maybe you can pass them on to your children or grandchildren.

Serving as hostesses for the meeting were Patricia Cox, JoAnn Graham and Darlene Hester. They decorated the Green Room at the First Baptist Church with beautiful fall decorations. The serving table featured an array of delicious homemade refreshments.

A report was given regarding the removal of downtown fall decorations and the preparations for the Christmas decorating, which is currently underway.

Final plans for the Every Light a Prayer for Peace ceremony and the Christmas Tree Lighting were discussed. These events are scheduled for Dec. 2 from 4:15-5 p.m. at the Franklin County Courthouse. The program will feature entertainment; prayers for peace; patriotic salutes; recognition of veterans, military, frontline workers, first responders and EMS honorees; and the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony to kick off the holidays.

Club members donated new toys for the Russellville Fire Department’s Helping Santa Christmas Toy program.

Cultura Garden Club turned 70 years old this year. In recognition of this milestone, Cultura donated $500 to the Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council for a half-page ad in the Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular Playbill. Members also voted to donate $135 for Cultura to participate in the Russellville Hospital Foundation Tinsel Trail that will be held at the Christmas at City Lake 2021.

The meeting adjourned with the reading of the Collect, led by Judy Baker.

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