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Cereus repandus f. monstrosa (Monstrose Apple Cactus)


Scientific Name

Cereus repandus f. monstrosa

Accepted Scientific Name

Cereus repandus (L.) Mill.

Common Names

Curiosity Plant, Monstrose Apple Cactus


Cactus abnormis, Cactus peruvianus f. monstrosa, Piptanthocereus peruvianus var. monstruosus, Cereus peruvianus f. monstrosus, Cereus peruvianus f. monstrosa, Cereus peruvianus f. monstrose, Cereus repandus f. monstrose, Cereus repandus f. monstrosus

Scientific Classification

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


This cactus is a monstrose form of Cereus repandus.


Cereus repandus f. monstrosa, also known as Cereus peruvianus f. monstrosa, is a naturally occurring mutation of Cereus repandus. It is a large shrubby or tree-like cactus with many upright, branched, and irregularly ribbed stems that give it a fascinating sculptural quality. This unusual cactus grows up to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall, usually much-branched from the base. Stems are gray-green to blue-green, spinless, or with gray, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long spines. Flowers are fragrant, white with reddish tips, and appear at night in early summer. Edible fruits are spherical to egg-shaped, usually red, but also yellow to deep violet-red.

The forma epithet "monstrosa," also spelled "monstruosa," derives from the Latin word "monstrosus," meaning "strange or monstrous."

Cereus repandus f. monstrosa (Monstrose Apple Cactus) aka Cereus peruvianus f. monstrosa

How to Grow and Care for Cereus repandus f. monstrosa

Light: Cereus cacti like full sun. They can handle partial shade but thrives during the summer in direct sunlight. Sunny south, east, or west window is a good spot to grow a Cereus indoors.

Soil: These cacti do not like to have "wet feet" and need to be grown in well-draining soil. Use commercial soil mixes for cacti and succulents or make your own potting mix.

Hardiness: Cereus repandus f. monstrosa can withstand temperatures as low as 20 to 50 °F (-6.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.

Watering: From spring to fall, during the active growth period water thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry out before watering again. With the arrival of fall, gradually reduce the watering frequency.

Fertilizing: During their growing season, Cereus cacti like regular fertilizing. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, which has been diluted to 1/4 strength, can be added to the water for each watering. Do not feed during the winter.

Repotting: While Cereus cacti are young, it is recommended to repot each year in early spring to provide them with fresh soil, inspect the root system, and move them to larger pots if necessary.

Propagation: Using stem cuttings is the easiest method to propagate Cereus because seed propagation is a slow process.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.

Toxicity of Cereus repandus f. monstrosa

Cereus cacti are non-toxic to humans or animals.


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