Cereus peruvianus f. monster crested


No synonyms are recorded for this cultivar name.


Cereus peruvianus f. monster crested is a nursery hybrid and thus it doesn’t exist in nature. The regular form “Cereus peruvianus”, instead, is native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, however its actual distribution is uncertain. Its habitat are humid and subhumid forests, where it thrives on rocky soils and outcrops. It can also be found in the famous “pampas” in Argentina, which are big plains, and also another specific ecoregion called “Cerrado”, which is a vast tropical savanna that extends mainly in Brazil. This species is pollinated by a wide range of animals: hummingbirds, houseflies, wasps, manny kind of bees and some nectar-eating bats.


Cereus peruvianus f. monster crested is the result of a genetic mutation in the cellular tissue of a Cereus peruvianus. In general, “Crestata” and “Monstruosa” varieties are the result of a phenomenon called “Fasciation”. Fasciation is an abnormal growth condition of vascular plants where the apical meristem, or either cellular tissues of other vegetative and flowering buds, produces new cells just in two directions, and becomes elongated and flattened perpendicularly to the normal direction of cellular growth. This abnormal behaviour results in flattened stems and eventually fan-shaped, more or less wavy cacti that might be very different from each other according on the specimen. This uniqueness makes them highly sought after by collectors, fascinated by the odd shape of their stem.
In the case of Cereus peruvianus f. monster crested, the flattened stem arches and becomes extremely wavy, to form eventually a convoluted clump, unique in each specimen. Areola, which are the typical buds of cacti, are concentrated at the top of the flattened stem, forming a white, hairy lin, like a “crest”, on which the spines are reduced, basically absent. When present, they are very short and needle-like, not hurtful at all.
Being the result of a genetic mutation, this cacti is rarely able to blossom: flowers have been never seen and the plant has lost the capacity to form fertile seeds.


Cereus peruvianus is easy to grow, though crested and monster form are more sensitive to adversities. Here below are our tips:

Put it in a bright spot, also exposed to airflows.
It is cold-sensitive: we advise to put it indoors in Winter. Its minimum tolerable temperature is around -2ºC, however it can be damaged also at higher temperatures in humid environments, another reason why it’s safer to place it indoors in Winter, even if ou live in a climate area with warm Winters.
Water regularly in Spring and Summer, more or less once a week, always waiting for the soil to dry up completely before each irrigation.
Choose a specific substrate for cacti, very porous and well-drained, rich in sand. Also a clay pot will help to enhance a good drainage and provide oxygen to the roots.
Fertilize once a year, during the Spring, with a specific product for cacti, rich in Potassium and Phosphorus and poor in Nitrogen.
It is a rapid grower. Repot every year in Spring to provide fresh soil and space for the roots. Also, repot it whenever it outgrows its pot.


As this plant isn’t able to blossom and form fertile seeds, the only chance of propagation are cuttings. They should be taken off in Spring from a prominent part of the stem and be left to dry up until a callous is formed on the wound. After that, plant the cutting in a pot of fresh, porous substrate for cacti to be maintained moist and warm (at a temperature of 20ºC) for a couple of weeks.
It can be also found grafted on other, more tough cacti.


The name “Cereus” derives from Latin and literally means “candle” in reference to its stem, which in nature tends to grow in height, with the typical columnar and erect posture that characterizes the entire genus. The candelabra-shaped aspect is, though, totally altered by the genetic mutation in the crested forms.

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