Browningia hertlingiana is a peruvian plant native to the Mantaro Valley. It grows at an altitude up to 3000 m on steep slopes in dry Andean forests.
Browningia hertlingiana is a perennial treelike, enourmous columnar cactus. The columnar few branched stems can get up to 8 m tall and 4 m extention. The several stems which arise from the main one are bright turquoise to olive green when aging (to get the characteristic blue colour, this succulent needs a warm climate and a big amount of light). Ribs are tuberculate and up to 18 cm long, and areoles form on tubercles. The stemp present two different kind of spines: the juvenile ones, 5-8 each areole, differentiated in centrals (stouter, in a number from 1 to 3) and radials, yellow with a brown tip; and the ones on the upper part of the stem, up to 30 looking almost equal, yellowish and flexible. When the plant get 1 m tall, in summer it can bloom: flowers are nocturnal, white with a purplish-brown tube.
Propagation is easily done by seeds: during spring, sown them in pots of well-draining, sandy substratum. Once they get well-rooted, you can plant the seedlings in separated small containers.
Due to its characteristical turqouise appearance, Browningia hertlingiana is also called “Blue Cereus”.
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