Browningia candelaris (Meyen) Britton & Rose
Cactus candelaris (basionym)
Browningia candelaris is a cactus with a tree-like habit of growth, reaching a height of up to 20 feet (6 m). When mature, it has a distinct unbranched trunk with a diameter of up to 20 inches (50 cm), which is densely covered with straight, brown, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long spines. Above the trunk, the plant has a crown of branching thinner stems, which may be entirely spineless or bear spines reduced to a few bristles. All the stems have about 50 ribs. The white flowers are tubular, up to 7 inches (12.5 cm) long, followed by fleshy edible fruits, yellow when ripe, and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and hardy. Ensure they receive enough water without becoming waterlogged, especially during the summer, and fertilize them for best results. If the roots have become black or overly soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot – cut away the affected parts and replant. Like all cacti, give them lots of direct sunlight, especially during the summer. Well-drained soil is best, and most Cereus cacti perform well in soil that contains some organic material. Some recommend avoiding a soil that contains sphagnum moss, though – it can make the cactus vulnerable to root rot.
It may become necessary to repot your Cereus if it outgrows its container. If so, make sure the soil is dry, and then remove the pot. See more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.
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