A 116-year-old domesticated cactus has bloomed in Northeast China. This is very unusual considering the cold climate around the Hulan River region of Heilongjiang Province.
The old cactus, named “Old Birthday” has gained a bit of a reputation recently, which is new, as the old plant has lived for many years in seclusion in Xigang Park in Harbin City.
Early in 1896, a Mr. Yang planted the cactus and tended it for 31 years. It grew too large for his house, so he donated it to Xigang Park in 1927.
Eight generations of florists have now tended the thriving cactus, which has surpassed the Qing Dynasty and is still going strong. The cactus is 26 feet high and 8 inches in diameter.
The cactus bloomed for the first time 60 years ago and had 20 flowers, and now it blooms every year, with as many as 3000 yellow flowers. It later produces large fruit.
In 2011, this strain was selected by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest surviving artificially cultivated cactus.
One visitor put it well, saying that originally this cactus is a tropical plant, yet it grows in the cold north with so much strength; one cannot help but admire its strong vitality.