829. Curaçao’s Confusing Cacti

Fresh Datu or Kadushi? Photo by my mother, Monique Gomes Casseres. Gross, I know.

Acquiring the art/science of differentiating between Kadushi and Datu cactii is crucial if you’re yu’i Kòrsou. Americans avoid this issue altogether, referring to all of these long cylindrical cactii as “Candle”. Look, it’s okay, we’re not judging,  in fact, the Dutch simplify too, referring to both Kadushi and Datu as “Zuil” (column, pillar). When your climate is dry and your vegetation predominantly cactus, you really must understand nuances, because not all Candle cactii are alike.

5 things you should know about Datu and Kadushi:

1. Datu starts ramifying right from the ground level up; Kadushi has a single trunk and starts branching out when it reaches a certain height


2. Datu and Kadushi ribs are covered with areoles. Datu carries 7 to 13 strong spines; Kadushi carries 8 to 20 (less strong) spines (trust us, we’ve counted!)

3. Datu’s creamy white pinkish flowers and Kadushi’s greenish white pinkish flowers bloom at night. Both are pollinated mainly by (nectar feeding) bats.

Bat munching on Kadushi flower. Source: http://www.caribbeanfootprint.com.

4. Datu’s dark red fruit are called Dader, they’re round and covered in spines; Kadushi’s red-purplish fruit are called Tampañá, they’re round to oblong, no spines.

5. Datu are often found in our “living” hedges, whereas Kadushi’s young branches are peeled and stewed (stew is called “Kadushi”, duh!)

Datu hedge.

And now, a brain teaser for the true connoisseur: 

Kadushi or Datu?!

Source: de Boer, Bart. Nos matanan i palunan Onze planten en bomen Our plants and trees. Curaçao Bonaire Aruba. Curaçao, 1996.

About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in Manhattan but sometimes miss my first awesome island. Thanks for visiting!


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