Lophocereus schottii f. crested


There are no synonyms for this cultivar name. However, the species Lophocereus schottii has numerous synonyms. Here below they are:
Cereus mieckleyanus
Cereus palmeri
Cereus palmeri
Cereus sargentianus
Cereus schottii
Cereus schottii var. australis
Lemaireocereus mieckleyanus
Lophocereus australis
Lophocereus mieckleyanus
Lophocereus mieckleyanus
Lophocereus sargentianus
Lophocereus schottii f. mieckleyanus
Lophocereus schottii f. monstrosus
Lophocereus schottii f. spiralis
Lophocereus schottii var. australis
Lophocereus schottii var. sargentianus
Lophocereus schottii var. schottii
Lophocereus schottii var. tenuis
Pachycereus australis
Pachycereus schottii
Pachycereus schottii f. mieckleyanus
Pachycereus schottii f. monstrosus
Pachycereus schottii f. sargentianus
Pachycereus schottii f. spiralis
Pachycereus schottii var. australis
Pachycereus schottii var. tenuis
Pilocereus sargentianus
Pilocereus schottii
Pilocereus schottii var. australis
Pilocereus schottii var. sargentianus


Lophocereus schottii f. crested is a nursery cultivar and thus doesn’t exist in nature. The regular form, Lophocereus schottii, is instead native to mainland Mexico, found in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, and Sonora, with small populations also occurring in the southern region of Arizona. This species grows up to 800 meters above sea level and tends to grow in colonies in dunes, stream shores, thin soil, and on rocky hillsides. It mainly grows on alluvial plains in dry gravely soils and in desert riparian environments. In southern California, where it can experience frosts, it grows in smaller sizes than in the southern regions. Reproduction in the northern parts of its range is primarily asexual, and wild plants are heavily weathered. The cactus has an obligate mutualistic association with a pyralid moth, Upiga virescens, which pollinates the small flowers and lays its eggs in them, allowing the larvae to feed on the fruit tissues. Patrolling ants may provide protection from herbivorous insects. The species faces threats due to land transformation for agriculture and resort development along the coast, mainly on the continent and parts of the peninsula.


Lophocereus schottii is a slow-growing cactus that typically does not have a trunk, and instead forms many tall, ascending, columnar stems that branch mostly at the base in a candelabra-like arrangement. The stems are usually 2-4 meters tall (but can grow up to 7 meters high), 8 to 16 centimeters in diameter, and mostly erect with a grey-green color and waxy bloom on the surface. The cut stem surfaces quickly turn black, which is a distinguishing characteristic of this species. The stems have fewer ribs in the juvenile and young stages, but the ribs increase in number to 6-8 in the upper fertile portion of the stem. The areoles in the bottom part of the stems are oval and bear white wool. The tips of the mature stems are covered with long, sharp, hairlike, strongly twisted grey bristles, which is different from the short conical spines on juvenile plants. This species blooms in the apical hairy part of the stems, and flowers are nocturnal, emitting an unpleasant odor. One or several flowers are produced from each areole during most of the year, and fruits are rounded, red, mostly spineless, and edible. The seeds are blackish, shiny, and smooth. The crested form, insted, is much smaller in size and forms a bunch of fan-shaped stems, furrowed by numerous wavy ribs that run along the stem throughout its length. On the upper part of the crest, there is a central furrow, more pronounced and reddish in colour. The so-called Crested varieties are rare and highly sought after by collectors, because they display an unusual growth pattern, wherein the stem or another plant organ exhibits crested shapes due to genetic mutations or external factors like insect activity, pathogenic organisms, hormonal imbalances, or thermal shocks affecting the normal functioning of the meristem. Crested and monstrous varieties are the result of a phenomenon called “Fasciation”. Fasciation is an abnormal growth condition of vascular plants where the apical meristem, 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. Some plant genera such as Aloe, Acer, Aloe, Cannabis, Celosia, Delphinium, Digitalis, Euphorbia, Forsythia, Glycine, and Primula tend to exhibit these peculiarities more frequently. However, cacti are particularly prone to this phenomenon.


 This species of plant is hassle-free to cultivate and thrives in areas with abundant sunshine, such as a cactus house. Although it can tolerate heat and sunlight, it is incapable of withstanding extended periods of frost. The crested variation of this plant is particularly vulnerable to frost and should not be exposed to temperatures below 0°C. They prefer to grow in a well-draining soil that is both fertile and airy, preferably one with a sandy texture. Watering should be done infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between each watering. If planted in a pot, re-potting should be carried out during the spring months when the roots have become constricted. It is typically recommended to re-pot every two years to maintain a fresh soil mix, rather than opting for a larger container. To ensure adequate drainage, fill approximately one quarter of the pot with gravel or broken crocks. After re-potting, avoid watering for at least a week. The crested plants thrive in warm, sunny conditions and will grow more rapidly when placed in a bright location on a higher shelf, receiving light feeding and rainwater at the base of the plant. Detached branches with roots will also thrive under these conditions.


The propagation tecniques of Lophocereus schottii f. crested are several. The technique of grafting crests onto a Myrtillocactus geometrizans stem is common, but these crests can also be grown independently on their own roots. To promote crest growth, it is necessary to remove any normal shoots. To increase the number of crests, healthy shoots can be used as cuttings in the spring or summer. It is essential to cut the stem using a sharp and sterile knife and then allow the cutting to form a callus in a warm and dry place for a few weeks. Once the callus has formed, the cutting can be planted in a container filled with cactus potting mix, which should be covered with a layer of coarse grit. Placing the cutting in coarse grit helps prevent excessive moisture and allows the roots to penetrate the soil below. Typically, rooting occurs within two to six weeks.


Lophocereus schottii is also known as the “totem pole cactus” due to its columnar shape that resembles a totem pole. Lophocereus schottii has been used in traditional medicine by indigenous communities for its antidiabetic properties. The cactus contains in fact some compounds that may help regulate blood sugar levels. In addition to its medicinal properties, Lophocereus schottii is also used in landscaping and as an ornamental plant due to its unique shape and texture. The totem pole cactus is named after the botanist Arthur Carl Victor Schott, who collected the first specimen of this plant in 1856.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Read our advice

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search