Cereus beneckei C.Ehrenb.
Cereus beneckei var. farinosus
S. beneckei is native to Mexico Central and Mexico Southwest where it grows on the rocky cliffs
S. beneckei is a shrubby columnar cactus, and its stem can reach 2 m in height and 7 cm in diameter. Stem is composed of greenish blue ribs, but these are covered by a powdery silver bloom, so the stem appears light grey. Tubercles have 1 to 5 spines, up to 3 cm long and with brownish end, but there is also a spineless breed called S. beneckei inermis. The blooming happens in winter and cream coloured flowers are 4 cm long; the flowers bloom overnight and can last 24 hours. Due to the night-blooming, pollination occurs thanks to batsor birds. Flowers are produced at the areols and are funnel shaped and very soft: rain can take them away.
S. beneckei is easy to cultivate and it is a fast growing plant. The best exposure sun for this cactus is full sun; it needs a well-drained mix soil to prevent the ground from becoming waterlogged. During the summer you can water whenever the soil is dried out, in the quiescent period you should interrupt watering to allow the cactus to enter dormancy period and to avoid root rot. Water should be given to the base of the plant to so as not to run off the bloom present on the stems. You should repot the plant every 2 years in a pot 2 cm wider than the previous one. After repotting do not water the cactus for 7-10 days. S. beneckei can withstand temperatures as low as 15 °C
Propagation can be realized through seed, or cutting quite easily: just cutting a branch and waiting for the wound to close, later you can plantit in a well-drained soil.
The plant gets his name by a succulent trader named Benecke, he probably first sold this plant to Kew Gardens.
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