Stenocereus beneckei (Ehrenb.) A. Berger & Buxb.
Cereus beneckei, Cereus beneckei var. farinosus, Cereus farinosus, Echinocactus farinosus, Hertrichocereus beneckei, Lemaireocereus beneckei, Piptanthocereus beneckei, Rathbunia beneckei, Rathbunia beneckei f. cristatus, Stenocereus beneckei f. cristatus
This species is native to central Mexico. It occurs on the sunniest rocky slopes.
Stenocereus beneckei is a shrubby cactus with bluish-green or bronze-green stems with 5 to 9 strongly tuberculate ribs and a white waxy coating. The stems are erect to decumbent, up to 6.5 feet (2 m) long, and 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. Spines are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, brown or black at first, becoming grey with reddish tips. Each areole usually bears 1 to 3, sometimes more spines. The night-blooming flowers are greyish-white or cream-colored, appear in winter and stay open only 24 hours. They are narrowly funnel-shaped and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. Fruits are up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter, grayish-brown or reddish-brown, with clusters of up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long spines.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and hardy. Ensure 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 them. 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, ensure the soil is dry and 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 fresh soil. Ensure 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.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.
- Back to genus Stenocereus
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.