Hildewintera aureispina f. crested


Here below are the synonyms for the name “Hildewintera aureispina”.

Cleistocactus winteri
Borzicactus aureispinus
Cleistocactus aureispinus
Hildewintera aureispina
Loxanthocereus aureispinus
Winteria aureispina
Winterocereus aureispinus

And here below are the synonyms of the crested forms.

Cleistocactus winteri f. cristatus
Borzicactus aureispinus f. cristatus
Hildewintera aureispina f. cristata


Hildewintera aureispina crested form is a nursery-produced cultivar, so it doesn’t exist in nature. The regular Hildewintera aureispina, instead, is a species in the Cactaceae family, native to Bolivia, in particular to the province of Florida. It can be found in a restricted area (250 square kilometers wide). It’s mainly threatened by illegal collection in its natural habitat. It grows hanging on inaccessible cliffs, in two main populations, at an altitude of 1300-1400 meters above the sea level.


Hildewintera aureispina is a medium-size cacti, forming shrubs of slender, tentacular, sprawling stem. The crested form is really appreciated as an ornamental because of its big, brain-shaped bush of bright green, convoluted stem, very decorative and rare. Crested varieties are the result of a phenomenon called “Fasciation”.
Fasciation is an abnormal growth condition of vascular plants where the apical meristem (a tissue made of still undifferentiated cells), 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. In the case of H. aureispina crested form, the tissue affected by this malfunction is the apical part of the stem, resulting in the typically fan-shaped but at the same time convoluted bushes. All of that means that every crested plant is unique: the modification of the growth habit results in many possible shapes and forms. That is why crested forms in general are so sought after by collectors. In the crested form of Hildewintera aureispina, the ribs are absent: instead, there are some slightly pronounced tubercles, on which there are the white areoles and the spines. Areoles are the typical buds of the family cactaceae, from which the spines are formed. In Hildewintera aureispina, spines are pale yellowish. It’s very difficult to see a crested form in bloom: the modification of the tissues alters in fact the flowering capacity.


Hildewintera aureispina is not so difficult to grow. Here below are our tips:

Put it in a bright spot, but not exposed to direct sunlight: filtered light will be okay.
H. aureispina crested form can resist to temperatures down to -2ºC if its substrate is maintained completely dry. However, to stay safe, we advise to keep it indoors in winter, at temperatures between 5 and 15 ºC.
During the growth season, water once a week, waiting always for the soil to dry up completely before each irrigations. In Winter, instead, keep it completely dry. When you water, be careful not to get the stem wet: there is the risk of rotting.
Choose a well-draining substrate: a specific one for cacti will do good.
Once a year, during the growth season, fertilize the plant with a product specific for cacti and succulents, high in potassium anf phosphorus and poor in Nitrogen (the latter makes the stems watery and fragile).
H. aureispina crested form is a rapid grower and needs wide pots: repot it once a year in Spring and anytime the cacti outgrows its pot. It needs plenty of space also for its roots: the pots chosen should be wide and deep at the same time.


Being a crested form, it can be propagated only through cuttings, to be taken off in Spring. Let them dry out until a callous forms on the wound and then replant in a light substrate, to be kept moist until they root.


Hildewintera takes its name from the sister of Friedrich Ritter, the first discoverer of this and many other genera of cacti, whose name was Hildegarda Winter!

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