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Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono (Monkey's Tail)


Scientific Name

Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono D.R. Hunt

Common Names

Monkey's Tail, Rat Tail


Cleistocactus colademononis, Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis, Hildewintera colademononis, Winterocereus colademononis

Scientific Classification

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


Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono, also known as Cleistocactus colademononis, is an attractive cactus with very long, soft, hair-like, white spines. The common name "Monkey's Tail" refers to the appearance of the hairy stems. It is a vigorous epilithic (growing on rocks) cactus branched at the base. Stems are cylindrical, light green, and completely concealed by the spines. They are up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, upright at first, then becoming pendent. Flowers are bright red and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.

Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono (Monkey's Tail) aka Cleistocactus colademononis

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USDA hardiness zones 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. During the spring and summer, water Cleistocactus when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil dries out. During the fall, reduce watering to every five 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 main stem's base. If an offset is removed to be used in propagation, remember to let it dry for a week or so, allowing the wound to heal. Rooting usually occurs within 3 to 8 weeks. Therefore, it is best to raise Cleistocactus from seed. Be sure to get the seeds from a reputable source.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cleistocactus.


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


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