Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Peru, northern Chile and Colombia
Cultivation: Browningia cacti have slow growth but it is very simple to cultivate them. Compared to other cactacees, pay special attention to temperatures that must never fall below 8-10 ° C.
Curiosity: Browningia is one of the many cacti described and classified by the Britton & Rose botanists around 1920. They called Browningia in honor of W. E. Browning, director of the Inglés Institute in Santiago de Chile.


The Browningia genus includes a few species of columnar cactus originating from the highlands of Peru, Bolivia and Chile, near the Pacific coast. They are columnar cactus of dark green or bluish color, with numerous pronounced ribs, with many thorns in young specimens. They are cacti that can reach several meters in height, with very large trunks, which branch to the upper part when they become adults. Overall, they thus acquire a typical “tree” look more accentuated in some species.

From June to August they produce large tubular flowers and squamous chalices that open only at night. Colors range from white to pink to red. The flowers of these plants are nocturnal, from white to red, with scales on the chalices.


There are only three species of browingia:

  • Browningia altissima
  • B. candelaris
  • B. hertlingiana
  • B. Hertlingian is available in the market, while others are definitely rare.


Browningia cacti have slow growth but are simple to grow. Here are our tips:

  • EXPOSURE: Choose an exposure in full sunlight, paying attention to excessive irradiation only for younger plants.
  • TEMPERATURE: These are cacti that need high temperatures and must always be kept above 8 ° C. They are very afraid of the cold and are less resistant than other cactacees.
    Watering: Watering during the growing season, in spring and summer, regularly once every 3-4 days and making sure that the soil is dry before proceeding with the next wetting. In autumn, put the plant to rest and suspend the watering.
  • SOIL: Use a specific soil for cactaceae or, alternatively, a mix of peat, sand and gravel.
  • CONCIMATION: It is sufficient to fertilize with a specific product for cactaceae at the beginning of spring.
  • REPOTTING: Choose very deep vessels, which can easily contain the roots and favor the growth of the plant. Be careful not to damage the twigs up, where the plant begins to branch.
  • REPRODUCTION: They reproduce by seed and by cuttings. Once the plant has grown older and has begun branching, the upper shoots are excellent cuttings.

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