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  Nyctocereus serpentinus
(Syn: Peniocereus serpentinus)
CACTUSPEDIA       

 


Nyctocereus serpentinus is a popular slender columnar cactus that with height will fall over and snake around. The crested form stay smaller and forms pronounced sculpture effects.


 

Cultivation: Produces best results in loose and very drained soil, rich in leaf-mould, and if sufficient water is supplied in warm weather a rather considerable growth can be made. It needs bright shade to partial sun. The plants will stand but little cold and require a minimum winter temperature of about 10° C. (but can resist for short period to 0° C). Growth is rapid, and supports are needed for the stems. The half‑erect habit of the moderately tall plants makes them desirable for middle foreground position in landscap­ing, while the comparatively small room needed for potted plants makes it an acceptable group for greenhouse culture.
Propagation: By grafting or (sometime) by cuttings.

 

Uses:   In Mexico it is one of the most widely cultivated species for the beauty of its white flowers that open at night, It is also grown in Mexico (Sonora), California and Chile for its fruit.
Sometime it is used as a strong and fast growing grafting stock.

Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:  Nyctocereus serpentinus Lagasca & J.D.Rodríguez
In: Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 12:423. 1909

Origin: Tropical areas of southern Mexico (México, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca), but now largely spread around Mexico. The crested form is of garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common English Names include: Snake cactus, Night-blooming cereus, Queen of the night (In Mexico it is know as Junco Espinoso, Reina de la Noche)

Synonyms:

  • Peniocereus serpentinus (Lagasca & J.D.Rodríguez) N.P.Taylor 1987
  • Cereus splendens
  • Nyctocereus castellanosii
  • Cereus ambiguus
  • Cactus ambiguus
  • Echinocereus serpentinus
  • Cactus serpentinus
  • Cereus serpentinus
 


Description:
The typical Nyctocereus serpentinus is a fast-growing slender, shrubby columnar cacti from that grows often in groups, erect at first sometimes climbing then leaning and sprawling all over and best tied to something so it wont fall and grow decumbent. It would be good for hanging baskets.
Stem: Slender, snake-like, dark coloured, cylindrical, 3-6 meters long, 2,5-5 cm in diameter.
Roots: Large tuberose
Ribs:
10-17 obtuse.
Areoles: Whitish white wool
Spines: 9 to 14 needle-like spines, whitish to reddish when young, with darker tips, 10-30mm long.
Flowers: When old enough it bears large, nocturnal flowers, they are funnelform, white with pinkish outside segments, 15 to 20cm long (15 cm in diameter), pericarpel and flowers with bristles. The flowers are very fragrant, like gardenias.
Fruits: 4-6 cm long, red, egg-shaped, edible, spiny, with spines that fall when it is ripe.
Seeds: Black 5 mm Long.
Remarks:
The crested form are cultivated for their beautiful stem with long bristly dark brown-red spine and pronounced sculpture effects. These plants produce monstrous crests, and crests occasionally produce normal shoots.

 

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

Photo gallery NYCTOCEREUS



 

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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