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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

Brachycereus nesioticus, Brachycereus thouarsii, Cactus abnormis, Cactus monstrosus, Cereus abnormis, Cereus bonariensis, Cereus calvescens, Cereus curvispinus, Cereus milesimus, Cereus monstrosus, Cereus monstruosus, Cereus neonesioticus, Cereus nesioticus, Cereus pentagonus, Cereus xanthocarpus, Piptanthocereus neonesioticus, Piptanthocereus validus, Piptanthocereus xanthocarpus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Cereus hildmannianus is a columnar, slow-growing cactus up to 30 feet (9 m) tall and branching form the base to form clump up to 15 feet (4.5 m) in diameter. Stems are blue-green when young, becoming duller green with age. They are 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. They grow progressively as the stem ages. White flowers are very large, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. They are followed by egg shaped fruits which are up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter and red when ripe.

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 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.

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.

Origin

Cereus hildmannianus is native to Brazil, Bolivia, ArgentinaParaguay and Uruguay.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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