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Cereus aethiops


Scientific Name

Cereus aethiops Haw.


Cereus azureus, Cereus chalibaeus, Cereus landbeckii, Cereus melanacanthus, Cereus seidelii, Piptanthocereus aethiops, Piptanthocereus azureus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cereeae
Genus: Cereus


Cereus aethiops is a shrubby, erect, more or less columnar cactus, sometimes prostrate, usually much-branched from the base, with stems that grow up to 6.6 feet (2 m) tall and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. The young stems are blue waxy-coated. The spines are black and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long. The flowers are fragrant, night-blooming, funnel-shaped, white to pale pink, up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter.

Cereus aethiops

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USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly, low-maintenance and hardy. Make sure they receive enough water without becoming waterlogged, especially during the summer, and fertilize them for the best results. If the roots have become black or overly soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot. Cutaway the affected parts and replant. Most gardeners interested in cacti should be able to cultivate these without much problem.

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. Knock away old soil and prune away any rotted or dead roots, then replace it in a new pot and backfill with fresh soil. Make sure not to overwater cacti planted in new pots, as this can lead to root rot. It should be left dry for about a week and then watered lightly.

These cacti propagate quite easily from cuttings. Simply sever a branch and replant in moist, well-drained soil.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.


Cereus aethiops is native to Brazil.


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