Cereus spegazzinii F.A.C.Weber
Moonlight Cactus, Night-blooming Cereus
Cereus anisitsii, Cereus haageanus, Cereus lindenzweigianus, Cereus marmoratus, Monvillea anisitsii, Monvillea ebenacantha, Monvillea haageana, Monvillea lindenzweigiana, Monvillea spegazzinii, Piptanthocereus lindenzweigianus, Piptanthocereus spegazzinii
Cereus spegazzinii, also known as Monvillea spegazzinii, is an erect, sloping, or almost creeping cactus that grows and branches abundantly. Stems are cylindrical, blue-green, up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long, and up to 2.6 inches (6.5) cm in diameter. They have 3 to 5 ribs with very wide areoles. Young plants usually have 2 to 3 blackish spines. Older plants have one central spine and five radial spines up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. Flowers appear from spring to summer and open at night. They are up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) long, up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter, and have reddish outer perianth segments and white inner ones. Fruits are greenish to pinkish with remnants of the perianth. This cactus is one of the most prolific bloomers of all cacti.
The specific epithet "spegazzinii (speg-uh-ZIN-ee-eye)" honors Carlo Luigi Spegazzini (1858-1926), an Italian-born Argentinian botanist and mycologist.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °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. 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, prune away any rotted or dead roots, then replace it in a new pot and backfill it 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.
This species is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay.
Forms and Cultivars
- Back to genus Cereus
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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