Cereus peruvianus f. monster crested

Synonyms:

Acanthocereus horribarbis
Cactus peruvianus
Cactus repandus
Cephalocereus atroviridis
Cephalocereus remolinensis
Cereus atroviridis
Cereus gracilis
Cereus grenadensis
Cereus lanuginosus
Cereus margaritensis
Cereus peruvianus
Cereus remolinensis
Cereus russelianus
Pilocereus atroviridis
Pilocereus fricii
Pilocereus repandus
Pilocereus swartzii
Piptanthocereus peruvianus
Stenocereus peruvianus
Subpilocereus atroviridis
Subpilocereus grenadensis
Subpilocereus margaritensis
Subpilocereus remolinensis
Subpilocereus repandus

Habitat:

C. peruvianus is native to Aruba, Colombia, Netherlands Antilles, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles and Windward Is. The forma mostruosa crestata has garden origin.

Description:

C. peruvianus is a wonderful cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has a shrubby habit and branches at the base. The stem is bluish-green, irregular and ribbed, and in forma crestata grows in the shape of a fan. The plant can reach up to 4,5 m in height and the stem usually is spineless, but sometimes it bears white spines 5 cm long. Blooming occurs in late spring and early summer and blossom are borne at the apex of the stem. Flowers are nocturnal and last one night, they are white in color with red tips, funnel-shaped. Fruits are spherical resembles an apple and are red to deep purple in color. This plant in some countries is cultivated for the edible fruits, but the forma crestata is for ornamental purposes only.

Cultivation:

This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.

Propagation:

Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°. The forma mostruosa is a natural mutation that occurred in the C. peruvianus population and that was selected and propagated vegetatively, so this cactus can be propagated only by cuttings.

Curiosity:

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.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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