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Cereus hildmannianus – Hedge Cactus

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Scientific Name

Cereus hildmannianus K. Schum.

Common Names

Hedge Cactus, Queen of the Night, Andes Organ Pipe, Peruvian Apple, Spiny Tree Cactus

Synonyms

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. hildmannianus, Cactus abnormis, Cereus validus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Cereus hildmannianus is a columnar, slow growing cactus branching form the base, up to 30 feet (9 m) tall, clump up to 15 feet (4.5 m) in diameter. The stem is blue-green in color when young, becoming duller green with age, up to 8 inches (20 cm) across, with 4 to 6 ribs which are divided into segments. Usually there are no spines on the younger stems, the spines grow progressively as the stem ages. The white flowers are very large, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, followed by large, up to 2.5 inches (6 cm) in diameter, egg shaped fruits which are red when ripe.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °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 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. 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 new 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…. – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cereus

Origin

Native to Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo), Bolivia, Argentina (Buenos Aires, Entre Rios) Paraguay and Uruguay.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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