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Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis (Monkey's Tail)


Scientific Name

Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis (Diers & Krahn) D.R. Hunt

Common Names

Monkey's Tail, Rat Tail


Hildewintera colademononis, Cleistocactus colademononis, Winterocereus colademononis

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Echinocereeae
Genus: Cleistocactus


Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis is a attractive cactus with very long white and soft, hairlike spines. The common name "Monkey's Tail" refers to the appearance of the hairy stems. It is a vigorous, epilithic (growing on rocks) cactus, branching at the base. At first upright, then pendent and up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long. The stem is cylindrical, light green, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, completely concealed by the spines. The flowers are bright red and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.

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

How to Grow and Care

Choose a location that gets full sun and has well-draining soil. Water Cleistocactus during the spring and summer when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil dries out. During the fall, reduce watering to every 5 weeks if the ground dries out. In winter, keep your cactus dry or the moist ground combined with the cool temperatures and dormancy may cause the roots to rot. Fertilize with a low-nitrogen fertilizer during the active growth period. A slow-release fertilizer applied in the spring will be sufficient for the whole year.

It is possible to propagate by cutting a small branch from a Cleistocactus and rooting it, but this inevitably leaves a disfiguring scar near the base of the main stem. If an offset is removed to be used in propagation, remember to let it dry for a week or so, letting the wound heal. Rooting usually occurs within 3 to 8 weeks. It is therefore best to raise Cleistocactus from seed. Be sure to get the seeds from a reputable source… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cleistocactus.


Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis is endemic to Bolivia (Santa Cruz).


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