Austrocephalocereus dybowskii


This name is a synonym of Espostoopsis dybowskii. Its other synonims are:
Austrocephalocereus dyhowskii
Cephalocereus dybowskii
Cereus dybowskii
Coleocephalocereus dybowskii


Austrocephalocereus Dybowskii is native from Brasil, in particular it’s present in Northern and Eastern Bahia. It is listed in the IUCN list for Vulnerable species, being threatened because of agriculture, mining, urbanization, fires…It is found on arid hillsides and quarzitic rock outcrops. Sometime it forms impenetrable groves.


This plant is branched from the base. It forms colonies of 10 centimeters thick, cylindrical stems, covered in a soft, white fluffy hair. The stem is divided into 20 ribs. It has 2-3 central spines, yellow or brown, and numerous, short, hidden radial spines. It blossoms during the night, and its flowers are campanulate (bell-shaped), slightly tubular, white, 4 centimeters long. The inflorescence develops upon masses of white wool.


Austrocephalocereus Dybowskii is not really easy to cultivate. It’s not resistant to cold temperatures and you should keep it at a temperature between 8-11ºC all the time. Also warmer temperatures are good for its growth: until 20ºC it’s ok. Austrocephalocereus Dybowskii can be grown in a standard cactus soil, but very porous. It grows relatively fast, but pay attention: it’s better not to repot it very often because its roots are fragile and are the plant needs a long time to re-adapt. Watering should be abundant, because Austrocephalocereus Dybowskii is a tropical plant and needs water. Nevertheless, let the soil dry up a little bit before each watering. Too much water can cause root rotting, because their root system is weak and not so fast in absorbing water. They prefer a full exposure to light, but not a light as strong as the one required by succulents from arid places.


Propagation should be done by seeds, which have to be sown in February-March in a sandy, porous soil. They germinate at a temperature between 18 and 22ºC. Keep the seeds moist until they germinate.


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