Cereus peruvianus f. crested


No synonyms is recorded for this species name.


The crested form of Cereus peruvianus is a nursery variety and, thus, doesn’t exist in nature. The regular Cereus peruvianus, instead, is originally from South America but is grown all over the world for decoration and as a living fence. It’s tough to say where it’s actually from since it’s so widespread, but it’s believed to be from the western Caribbean or Venezuela (or maybe Brazil). People grow it in gardens all over the place, like in tropical and subtropical countries, and it’s even been grown as a small-scale fruit crop in places like the Netherlands Antilles, other Caribbean islands, Mexico, Israel, and the US. In some places, like South Africa, it’s considered a weed. Despite the fact that it only blooms at night, bees can still pollinate it because they’re active during the day and the flowers are open for a few hours in the evening or early morning.


Cereus peruvianus f. crested is a pretty unique cactus, unlike the regular columnar cacti. What makes it different from the regular the form is a genetical mutation called fasciation that changes the direction of cell multiplication, so that the new cells are produced only along a main axe and the stem becomes elongated and flattened perpendicularly to the normal direction of cellular growth. Crested forms are unique in each specimen and thus are highly sought after by succulent collectors. Cereus peruvianus f. crested, in particular, is a treelike plant with upright or slightly curved branches, sometimes with separate trunks, that can grow up to 10 meters tall. The stems are fan-shaped and whorled, with a grey-green to blue-green color and they’re around 6-8 cm thick. The ribs are low, rounded, and somewhat compressed, with areoles that are small and widely spaced, with greyish-white wool. The spines are often numerous, sometimes absent, and they’re grey and needle-like with a bristly reddish-brown color. The flowers are only open for one night, they’re white with reddish tips and grow up to 12-15 cm long, but the crested specimens often don’t flower. The fruits are usually red and thornless, with a globose to elongated shape and a white pulpy center. The skin color can range from yellow to deep violet-red.


Being a crested form, Cereus peruvianus f. crested is not the easiest species to cultivate. Here below are some tips:

For optimal growth, it’s best to plant this cactus in a soil that’s well-draining and porous. Place it in a bright spot with good air circulation. During the growing season, water the plant deeply when the soil feels dry to the touch. Cut back on watering during the winter months to avoid root damage. This cactus is not frost-tolerant and should be protected from freezing temperatures (it can handle down to -2°C). With its quick growth rate, this plant needs plenty of room for its roots to expand, so consider repotting it every two years or when it outgrows its current pot.


Cereus peruvianus f. crested can be only propagated by cuttings: crested forms are a genetical mutation that can not be maintained in sown samples.
Spring is the ideal time to propagate this plant from cuttings. Let the cut wound heal before planting it in slightly damp, fresh cactus soil. Keep the soil moist until the cutting takes root, which usually happens within 1-2 months. Alternatively, you can also propagate this plant through grafting.


It is commonly known as the Crested Peruvian Apple Cactus due to its distinctive crest or tuft of spines on its top.

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