Cultivation: These cacti love direct light and heat: always leave them above 8-10°C and water regularly, taking care to dry the soil well to avoid the risk of rot.
Curiosity: Cipocereus were named after Cipó, their native province in Brazil, and Cereus – which is a recurring suffix for large, columnar-shaped cacti that grow tall and means “candelabra”, precisely because of the candelabra shape these cactus take on.
The genus Cipocereus includes a few species of columnar cacti native to a small area of Brazil. The former classifications placed them in the genera Cereus or Pilosocereus, so it is easy to find in cacti nurseries some Cipocereus species labelled as Cereus. The separated genus was created mainly because of a typical feature of Cipocereus cacti: the bright blue color of the funnel-shaped base of their flowers and fruits.
Due to the restricted nature of their natural habitat, the various species are considered to be endangered by the IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature, although with different degrees of severity depending on the species.
The stems can reach heights of between 1 and 3 metres, depending on the species. They are bright green or blue-green in colour, tend to be slender compared to the height of the plant, and are unbranched or scarcely branched.
Along the stem we find vertical ribs of medium prominence, on which we find the areoles, usually equipped with abundant thorns.
Flowers appear along the sides of the stem, on the upper part of the plant. The colours can be various: for example, Cipocereus minensis (in the old classifications, Pilosocereus minensis) stands out for its uniqueness as it has both the funnel-shaped base of the flower and the fruits, of an outstanding bright blue colour. C. bradei also has beautiful blue-white blooms and is probably the most common species on the market.
VARIETY AND TYPES
The genus Cipocereus includes very few species of cacti, of which the most representative is considered to be C. minensis (the variety Cipocereus minensis subs. pleurocarpus is also very common).
Here are all the species recognized to date: check our online shop to find some of them!
- C. bradei
- C. crassisepalus
- C. laniflorus
- C. minensis
- C. minensis subs. pleurocarpus (or C. pleurocarpus)
- C. pusilliflorus
TIPS FOR GROWING
Here are our cultivation tips to make your Cipocereus thrive:
- The required exposure is very bright. Direct sunlight is the best choice, as long as the plant remains sheltered during the hottest hours of the day.
- These cacti are suitable for very hot climates. Never keep them below 8-10°C. It’s advisable, in temperate climates, to keep them indoors at least in Winter.
- Cipocereus require fairly regular watering: every 3-4 days in Spring and Summer, then less frequently in autumn and no watering at all in winter, during the dormant period. To avoid root rot, wait for the soil to dry completely before each watering.
- Choose a neutral, light and very draining soil. A standard substrate for cacti will do well.
- Fertilise about once a month during Spring and Summer with a specific product for cacti.
- Cipocereus grow rather quickly and you will need to repot them every 1-2 years.
- Choose deep pots to properly hold the roots and be very careful to protect your hands during the operations, as Cipocereus thorns are very long and rigid and can be very hurtful!
They can be propagated by seed or by branch cuttings (only for specimens large enough to branch).