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Echinopsis chamaecereus (Peanut Cactus)

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Scientific Name

Echinopsis chamaecereus H. Friedrich & Glaetzle

Common Names

Peanut Cactus

Synonyms

Chamaecereus sylvestrii, Chamaecereus silvestrii, Lobivia silvestri, Cereus silvestrii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Echinopsis

Description

Echinopsis chamaecereus is a branched cactus, up to 6 inches (10 cm) tall, with many crowded, finger-like stems. Pale green stems are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) in diameter. They have 8 to 10 ribs and 10 to 15 soft, white bristles per areole. The flowers are orange-red and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Several flushes of flowers appear from late spring to early summer.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Peanut Cactus needs a well-draining potting mix. Water the plant thoroughly until water comes through the pot's holes and let the soil dry at least halfway down the pot before watering again. In winter, decrease or withhold water. The plant will look shriveled and stems can take on a reddish tinge, but the Peanut Cactus will plump up again and return to its normal color in spring.

This cactus grows well in hanging baskets or shallower, 4-inch (10 cm) nursery containers, because it is shallow-rooted. Hybrids can take deeper pots. It is difficult to transplant older clumps of Peanut Cactus because the stems break apart so easily. Fertilize the cactus once a year during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer at half the recommended strength. In areas with hot, dry summers, grow Peanut Cactus in areas that get partial shade. In areas with cool summers or in temperate climates, grow it in full sun.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Peanut Cactus (Echinopsis chamaecereus).

Origin

Echinopsis chamaecereus is native to Argentina (Tucumán).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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