Browningia candelaris (Meyen) Britton & Rose
Browningia candelaris is a large, tree-like cactus with a distinct unbranched trunk with a crown of branching thinner stems that may be entirely spineless or bear spines reduced to a few bristles. It grows up to 20 feet (6 m) tall. The trunk is up to 20 inches (50 cm) and densely covered with straight, brown, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long spines. The stems have about 50 ribs. Spines on the trunk are straight, brown, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. each areole bears 20 to 50 spines.
Flowers are white, tubular, up to 7 inches (12.5 cm) long, and appear in summer. They are 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 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, ensure the soil is dry and remove the pot.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.
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