Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti

  Cleistocactus strausii forma cristata
(Syn. Borzicactus strausii f. cristatus)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 

 


A fast growing cactus that is covered with eye-catching silvery spines. Creates large clumps as it matures.
 

Description: Cleistocactus strausii is a slender, erect, columnar group-forming cactus covered with so many silvery-white hairy spines that the green stem is almost completely hidden. It branch profusely from the base.
Stems: The stems are grey-green, slender columns up to 3 m tall , but only about 6 cm across.
Ribs: The "columns" are formed from around 25 ribs.
Areole: Closely set and densely packaged over the stems.
Central spines: Four, thin acicular, yellow-brown up to 40 mm long.
Radial spines: 20-40 usually shorter,
 fine, bristly  15-50 mm long.
Flowers:
This plant is a heavy bloomer and mature cactuses, over 50 cm tall, will profusely produce deep violet-red tubular, slightly curved flowers. The blooms are 6 to 9 cm long and  protrude horizontally from the stem on the sides near the tips. In common with other cacti in the genus Cleistocactus, the flowers hardly open, with only the style and stamens protruding. Floral tube with silky hairs.
Blooming season:
Late summer. Cultivated plants often flower freely.
Fruits: Pear shaped, red, up to 2 cm in diameter.
Remarks: The nice crested form is very nice and will form large silvery mounds.
 

It is propagated usually by grafting as the cuttings will generally not root.

 

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of  plants belonging to the Cleistocactus strausii complex.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Cleistocactus strausii (Heese) Backeb.
Kakteenkunde und Kakteenfreund, p.125, 1934

Type: Type Specimen: LT: Heese, Gartenflora f. 47 (1907); ; LT designated by Hunt & Taylor, Cact. Syst. Initiat. 21: 6 (2006)

Origin:  It is native to high mountain regions of Southern Bolivia and Northern Argentina.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common English Names include: Silver torch cactus

Etymology: Cleistocactus - Greek words "Kleistos" meaning closed.
Strausii   - For Strauss.

Synonyms:  

  • Pilocereus straussii Heese
    Published In: Gartenflora 1907: 410, f. 49. 1907 (Basyonym)
  • Borzicactus strausii (Heese) A.Berger
    Die Entwicklungslinien der Kakteen 53. 1926.
  • Cephalocereus strausii (Heese) Houghton
    Journ. Cact. & Succ. Soc. Amer. 1: 170. 1930.
  • Cereus strausii (Heese) Vaupel
    Monatsschrift für Kakteenkunde 23: 37. 1913.
  • Cleistocactus strausii (Heese) Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus strausii var. fricii (Dörfl.) Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus strausii var. jujuyensis Backeb.
  • Denmoza strausii (Heese) Frič
    Möller's Deutsche Gärtner-Zeitung 44: 170. 1929.
  • Denmoza strausii var. luteispina Frič
  • Pilocereus strausii  Heese
  • Pilocereus strausii f. cristatus Dörfl.
  • Pilocereus strausii var. fricii Dörfl.

Cultivation: The Cleistocactus is a vigorous and easy to grow plant, and requires, strong sunlight or half shade, but not high temperatures.  Water generously during the summer, but allow to dry fully before watering again. During the winter months plants should be rather kept dry. In cultivation, watering too much in winter often leads to root rot. It can withstand hard frosts down to -10°C, but the tips might get damaged below -5°C. Since they are rapid growers it needs plenty of space for its roots. Repotting should be done every other year, or when the plant has outgrown its pot, and give an occasional high potassium liquid feed. Its silvery spined stems branch from the base and then grow straight upwards towards the greenhouse roof, making a pleasant backdrop for the more numerous globular cacti.

Propagation: It is propagated usually by grafting or sometime by cuttings, but the cuttings will generally not root.
If you remove an offset, remember to let it dry for a week or so, letting the wound heal (cuttings planted to soon easily rot before they can grow roots). Rooting usually occurs within 3-8 weeks.


Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo Gallery CLEISTOCACTUS



 

Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

The Encyclopedia of Cacti