Cleistocactus baumannii


Aporocactus baumannii
Cactus flavispinus
Cereus baumannii
Cereus baumannii var. flavispinus
Cereus colubrinus var. flavispinus
Cereus flavispinus
Cereus flavispinus
Cereus subtortuosus
Cereus tweediei
Cleistocactus aureispinus
Cleistocactus baumannii var. flavispinus
Cleistocactus bruneispinus
Cleistocactus colubrinus var. flavispinus
Cleistocactus flavispinus
Cleistocactus jugatiflorus
Echinopsis baumannii


Cleistocactus baumannii is widely spread across the Chaco regions of Bolivia, western Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. You can spot this cactus at various elevations, ranging from as low as 10 meters to a maximum of 1000 meters above sea level. This cactus is quite adaptable when it comes to its habitat. It thrives in sandy or clayey soils, whether it’s on the outskirts of a forest, nestled within a dense or open woodland, or even in the scrublands of the dry Chaco and the eastern regions of Paraguay. It even makes itself at home in rocky areas. Good news is, Cleistocactus baumannii is holding its own. It seems to benefit from human activity and faces no significant threats. Plus, it’s got protected areas where it can thrive. Here’s an interesting tidbit: the Chacoan peccary (Catagonus wagneri) has a thing for munching on this cactus, especially when things get dry. It’s like their favorite snack!


Cleistocactus baumannii is a tall, columnar cactus known for its multiple slender, ribbed stems that branch at the base. These stems are covered in whitish spines, which can sometimes take on a yellow or brown hue. The plant produces tubular flowers that range in color from orange to scarlet. These flowers have a slightly open shape, revealing only the style and stamens.

There are six recognized subspecies of Cleistocactus baumannii:

The nominate subspecies.
Subspecies horstii (P.J.Braun) N.P.Taylor.
Subspecies anguinus (Gurke) P.J.Braun&Esteves.
Subspecies croceiflorus (F. Ritter) P. J. Braun & Esteves.
Subspecies chacoanus (F. Ritter) P. J. Braun & Esteves.
Subspecies sanctacruzensis (Backeb.) Mottram.

The stems of this cactus are somewhat branched at the base and are fairly rigid, standing erect or arching. They can grow to be 2 meters or more in height, with a diameter of 2.5 to 3.5 cm. The color of the stems is a dark green. The cactus has 12 to 16 low ribs and closely spaced areoles, which are brown or black-felted. It sports a single central spine, which can be yellowish or dark brown and measures 4 cm or less in length. In addition, there are 8 to 20 radial spines that are needle-like and range in color from white to yellow or brown. These radial spines can be up to 1.8 cm long. Cleistocactus baumannii produces flowers along its stems over several months in the summer. These flowers are yellow-orange to scarlet, and they are 5 to 7 cm long and narrow. They have a distinct upward curve, followed by a narrow S-shaped bend beyond the pericarpel. The ovary and flower-tube are adorned with ovate, acute scales. The perianth-segments are short and wide, ending in sharp points. The numerous stamens are red and pressed against the upper part of the flower-tube, while both the stamens and style extend beyond the flower. The fruit of this cactus is spherical, measuring 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter. It ranges in color from pink to red and contains white, edible pulp.


Step into the enchanting world of Cleistocactus baumannii, a captivating and remarkably hardy cactus that brings an air of grace to any collection. This resilient beauty is a breeze to cultivate, though a gentle guiding hand might be needed to maintain its elegance within your collection. Watch in awe as Cleistocactus baumannii unfurls its growth with a swiftness that may call for occasional pruning. To pamper this gem, offer a rich, fast-draining substrate that shields it from the perils of excess moisture and chilly temperatures. Let the soil breathe between watering sessions, and in summer, when it bursts into a floral symphony, be generous with hydration. Come winter, let this sturdy cactus enjoy a dry spell. Shield it from gloomy, damp, or frigid days. While it boasts impressive resilience, it’s wise not to subject it to temperatures dipping below freezing. Even in sheltered spots, exposure to sub-zero conditions might leave unsightly marks on its delicate skin. Eager for the limelight, Cleistocactus baumannii craves sun-drenched days and the caress of gentle breezes. It crafts a cozy haven for itself at altitudes up to 1000 meters, proving itself to be one of Bolivia’s hardiest woolly columnar cacti. With spring’s arrival, consider a repotting session if the roots begin to feel cramped. Every other year, a fresh bed of soil offers a nourishing embrace. Following this transition, grant a week or more before the next watering. As with all cleistocacti, spent blooms gracefully depart on their own, but a bit of tidying never goes amiss. To keep this radiant beauty in check and to gift new life through propagation, the occasional trim may be in order. Outdoors, after a splendid five to ten-year display, a rejuvenating touch awaits – bid farewell to the old, and let fresh growth reign supreme. This is the dance of cultivation, where every gesture is met with the grace of nature’s response.


Propagation of this captivating Cleistocactus baumannii can be accomplished through two enchanting methods: seeds and cuttings. When embarking on the wondrous journey of seed propagation, ensure they are given ample time to thoroughly dry during the warmth of summer, before embarking on their planting. With the right care, these seeds hold the promise of new life, adding to the enchanting story of your botanical haven. Should you choose the path of cuttings, take heed to allow them a proper period of desiccation, ensuring they are well-prepared for their next chapter of growth and beauty in the summer sun. In your skilled hands, both these methods hold the potential to multiply the elegance and allure of Cleistocactus baumannii.


This exquisite Cleistocactus baumannii finds its place as a star player in landscapes and patios, where its elegant presence adds a touch of desert allure. It’s a perfect fit for those charming “desert” gardens, where it mingles harmoniously with other resilient xerophytes, creating a tapestry of arid beauty. For those in climates less forgiving, where the open embrace of the elements isn’t an option, consider potting this remarkable cactus. By doing so, you provide it a snug haven during the winter months, ensuring its grace endures through the changing seasons. This way, even in less hospitable environments, Cleistocactus baumannii can thrive, bringing its unique charm to your space year-round.

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