Lophocereus

Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico.
Cultivation: Keep your Lophocereus in full sun and always above 6°C, as they cannot tolerate the cold. Water sparingly.
Curiosity: This genus includes only one species, Lophocereus schottii. According to some classifications, it should fall within the genus Pachycereus.

KEY FEATURES

This genus includes only one species, Lophocereus schottii. According to some classifications, it should fall within the genus Pachycereus.

The genus Lophocereus includes one (or two, depending on the nomenclature used), species of cacti. Other classification systems actually suggest to include Lophocereus in the genus Pachycereus.

They are columnar, slow-growing cacti that can reach several meters in height while the stem rarely exceeds 1-15 cm in diameter and is rarely branched.

L. schottii, synonym of Lophocereus schottii f. monstrosa, has the striking appearance of molded wax due to its irregular form.

The crested form is a rare occurrence in nature: its seeds are sterile, but it continues to propagate through spontaneous rooting of the branches.

Flowers are small and insignificant: they reach no more than 5 cm in diameter, are greenish-white or pinkish and open only at night just like those of Pachycereus.

It bears edible fruits with red flesh.

VARIETY AND TYPES

Lophocereus includes only one widely-traded species: Lophocereus schottii f. monstrosa or crestata.
According to some other classifications, L. gatesii also belongs to this genus.

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TIPS FOR GROWING

The many varieties of agave present on the market share resistance and adaptability.

In general, they need the following attentions:

  • Choose a position in full sun or very bright.
  • Always keep these plants above 6°C : they can’t stand the cold.
  • Water regularly every 5-6 days during the vegetative period (spring and summer), paying attention to let the soil dry out between one watering and the other.
  • Use a standard soil for cacti or any mix not too rich in nutrients and well draining.
  • Use a specific product for cacti. It is sufficient to fertilize once a month during the vegetative period.
  • Remember that Lophocereus are slow-growing plants, so use half of the doses recommended on the package.
  • Repot every two-three years.

The crested forms of Lophocereus, the most sought after, are sterile. As already written, however, branch cuttings root very easily, so much so that even in their habitat they reproduce mainly through this method.

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