Family: Asparagaceae
Habitat: Desert areas in Nothern-Eastern Mexico
Cultivation: To make the caudex develop correctly, it should be left almost completely underground in young plants, to let it come up in adult plants.
Curiosity: “Calibano” is the monster in the Shakespeare drama “The Storm”: this genus takes its name from this monster.


The genus “Calibanus” includes just two species of perennial succulents growing in some desert areas of Mexico.
They are plants with big, tuberous roots which come up from the soil forming a woody, irregularly-shaped caudex, especially in elder plants, reaching until 1 meter of diameter! From the caudex, thin, flexible leaves come up: they can become until 90 centimeters long! They are green, may also become reddish when they grow old.

Flowers are small, white or creamy yellow, sometimes pinkish. They grow in inflorescences, grouped in stems of 10-20 centimeters. They are dioecious plants: this means that there are male individuals and female individuals. Female produce globose berries which contain seeds.


Here below there are the two species of Calibanus: try to check our online shop in the section “Calibanus” to find them!

  • C. hookeri
  • C. glassianus


Calibanus owe much of their charme to the marvelous forms assumed by the caudex. To have a healthy, completely developed caudex in your Calibanus, you should let it almost completely underground in young plants, even if this will make the plant grow slower, and then leave it come up in elder plants.

Here below are other tips for growing your Calibanus:

Sun Exposure:
Calibanus grow up well both in shady and sunny locations. If grown outdoors, it’s important to choose an aired point, to have a good dry air circulation.
Calibanus are extremely resistant to changes in temperature: they grow up well in hot climates but can stand also conditions until -10ÂșC, if left dry.
Reduce watering during the cold periods and water every time the soil dies up during the vegetative period.
Use a well draining and rich in nutrients substrate, like a mix of peat and inerts.
Fertilize in the beginning of the vegetative period with a specific fertilizer for succulents.
Calibanus don’t love frequent repottings, so it’s better to use big pots and leaving them in their place for at least 2, 3 years. Being very slow in growing, it won’t be so necessary to repot it frequently and it won’t be difficult to reduce repotting traumas.
Calibanus can be propagated just by seeds.

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