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Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Spiny Hedge Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (R.Kiesling) N.P.Taylor

Common Names

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

Synonyms

Cereus uruguayanus, Piptanthocereus uruguayanus

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus is a slow-growing columnar cactus that grows up to 33 feet (10 m) tall, branching from the base. Stems are cylindrical, segmented, blue-green to dull green, often glaucous when young, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. They usually bear long golden or brown spines. It produces numerous showy white flowers. They are up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and followed by goose-egg-size, fleshy fruits containing a delicately sweet white pulp with delightfully crunchy black seeds. It blooms at night in spring through summer.

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Spiny Hedge Cactus)

Photo via tucson-gardener.com

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Like most cacti, Cereus are somewhat 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. Cut away the affected parts and replant them. 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. See more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.

Origin

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus is native to Uruguay.

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