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Eulychnia castanea

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Scientific Name

Eulychnia castanea Phil.

Synonyms

Cereus castaneus, Philippicereus castaneus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Notocacteae
Genus: Eulychnia

Description

Eulychnia castanea is a branched, shrubby or tree-like cactus with cylindrical stem up to 6.5 feet (2 m) tall, up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, green, branching at the base, ascending at first, later spreading or decumbent. The spines are yellow to brown, straight, often strong, unequal and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long. The small flowers are up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, diurnal, white and borne laterally near tips of branches.

Hardiness

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

How to Grow and Care

Eulychnia is not common in cultivation and only collectors with a specific interest in the genus seem to grow them. It requires full sun or light shade to keep plant compact with strong colored spines. Tends to bronze in strong light, which encourages flowering and heavy spine production. Light shadow my be useful in the hottest summer days.

These cacti requires light, but regular watering in summer. Let the soil dry between waterings. Keep the soil dry in winter.

Eulychnias need to be kept in a cool place during winter rest. They are resistant to light frost if kept on the dry side prior to and during, cold weather. Eulychnias are hardy to 28 °F (-2 °C) in short periods.

Eulychnia likes very coarse, mineral cactus soil mix, but can become too elongated if soil is too rich. Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Eulychnia.

Origin

Eulychnia castanea is native to Chile (along the coastline from Los Molles north to Talinay, Coquimbo).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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