Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: coastal areas of Peru and Chile
Cultivation: It is recommended half sun exposure until the plant is very young, and in full sun only at a later time. Pay attention to the temperature (must be above 10.8 ° C) and to rot risks associated with humidity.
Curiosity: It is a very rare gender to be found on the market; the easiest species to be seen are usually two: Haageocereus pseudomelanosthele and H. versicolor. The genus has been codified in 1934 by Herr Backeberg in honor of the German farmer Haage.


The plants of the genus Haageocereus  are  columnar cacti (or globular, when they are very young), they are from extremely dry deserts along the coasts of Peru and northern Chile. Some varieties can have a prostrate posture; generally the stem is branched and covered with yellow or green thorns. Flowering occurs in summer and it is only at night; flowers can take on various colors. It is a very rare gender either in nature and commercially.

Variety and Types

The genus includes few species  of  Haageocereus from Peru and northern Chile. It has been codified in 1934 and takes its name from the German farmer Haage, that Herr Backeberg (the species classifier) wanted to pay homage. As it often happens, the taxonomy is quite confusing and many names or assignments change according to the  related classification; sometimes this gender is also called Arthrocereus. We list below the existing varieties; however this is a very rare plant and on the market it is only   possible to find Pseudomelanosthele H. and H. versicolor.

  • Haageocereus decumbens
  • H. aureispinus
  • H. chrysacanthus
  • H. laradensis
  • H. tenuis
  • H. repens
  • H. pseudomelanostele
  • H. versicolor


The Haageocereus, as most cacti, is not difficult to cultivate. Here are our recommendations:

  • We recommend half sun exposure until the plants are very young; then, you should go to full sun.
  • They are afraid of cold: the ambient temperature must not fall below 8-10 ° C.
  • The watering must be scarce and follow the classic attentions used with cacti: watering once every 5-6 days in spring and summer (making sure to have a really dry ground between watering) to decrease progressively and stop completely in winter.
  • We recommend a specific soil for cacti, draining and rich in aggregates.
  • It is a slow-growing plant and because of that it does not need a lot of fertilising; once every 15 days during the growing season using a specific product for cacti.
  • No need of frequent repotting, given the slow growth of the plant.

The Haageocereus mainly reproduce by seed

Photo of Dick Culbert (Gibsons, B.C., Canada) released under Wikimedia Commons license. – Haageocereus versicolor, CC BY 2.0, original image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50661153

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