Cereus uruguayanus (peruvianus) 

(cir' ee-us ur-u-gway-aa' nuss)

Common name: Column Cactus, Apple Cactus

Family: Cactaceae, Cactus

Height x width: 15' x 2' (generally 3-6' indoors)

Growth rate: fast

Shape: upright, columnar, 5-9 rounded ribs with brown areoles and spines (4-7 radial and 1-2 longer central), glaucous blue-green

Flowers: funnel-shaped to 6" long, white with outer petals tipped various colors, nocturnal when plants quite large

Light: full sun

Temperature: warm, cool to 45ºF when inactive

Watering: low, dry between waterings

Fertility: low

Humidity: dry

Soil: cactus, pH below 6 prefered

Pests and Problems: dry stem rot, bacterial soft rot especially on young plants, scales, mealybugs

Growth habit, uses: upright effect in desert garden

Other interest: native to southeast Brazil and northern Argentina; from the Latin cera meaning wax, refering to the torch-like shape of young plants with original torches made of wax; a genus undergoing much taxonomic revision over the last century, it originally contained most column shaped cacti, and now has three subgenera of which Cereus contains this popular and common species; formerly and still often misnamed peruvianus

Other culture: easy to grow with proper environment

Propagation: seed, stem cuttings

Related species, cultivars:

jamacaru (ja-ma-car' oo)--similar, less common, only with fewer ribs and lighter spines

'Monstrosus'--often rounded, congested stems, sometimes dwarf; actually a group of cultivars often listed under one of the above species
 


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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