Cereus hildmannianus (Hedge Cactus)


Scientific Name

Cereus hildmannianus K. Schum.

Common Names

Andes Organ Pipe, Column Cactus, Hedge Cactus, Hildmann's Cereus, Peruvian Apple, Peruvian Apple Cactus, Queen of the Night, Spiny Tree Cactus

Synonyms

Brachycereus nesioticus, Brachycereus thouarsii, Cactus abnormis, Cactus monstrosus, Cereus abnormis, Cereus bonariensis, Cereus calvescens, Cereus curvispinus, Cereus hildmannianus subsp. xanthocarpus, Cereus milesimus, Cereus monstrosus, Cereus monstrosus var. minor, Cereus monstruosus, Cereus neonesioticus, Cereus neonesioticus var. interior, Cereus nesioticus, Cereus pentagonus, Cereus peruvianus var. brasiliensis, Cereus peruvianus var. cristatus, Cereus peruvianus var. monstrosus, Cereus peruvianus var. ovicarpus, Cereus peruvianus var. persicinus, Cereus peruvianus var. proferrens, Cereus peruvianus var. reclinatus, Cereus xanthocarpus, Piptanthocereus neonesioticus, Piptanthocereus neonesioticus var. interior, Piptanthocereus validus, Piptanthocereus xanthocarpus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cereeae
Genus: Cereus

Origin

This species is native to South America (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay).

Description

Cereus hildmannianus is a shrub or tree-like cactus with many blue-green to dull green branches. Mature plants usually have a woody trunk, up to 6.6 feet (2 m) tall and up to 3 feet (90 cm) in diameter, below the lowest branches. It grows up to 50 feet (15 m) tall. Branches are up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and have 4 to 6 ribs. They are usually spineless but sometimes have few short golden or brown spines. Flowers are white or yellowish-white, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, and appear from late spring to early fall. They open at night and remain open the following day. Edible fruits are egg-shaped, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter, and change color from green to pinkish-red.

This species is very similar in appearance and often confused with Cereus repandus. It is frequently mislabeled as Cereus peruvianus listed as a synonym of C. repandus.

The specific epithet "hildmannianus" honors Heinrich Hildmann, German plantsman who specialized in cactus.

How to Grow and Care for Cereus hildmannianus

Light: Cereus cacti like full sun. They can handle partial shade but thrives during the summer in direct sunlight. Sunny south, east, or west window is a good spot to grow a Cereus indoors.

Soil: These cacti do not like to have "wet feet" and need to be grown in well-draining soil. Use commercial soil mixes for cacti and succulents or make your own potting mix.

Hardiness: Cereus hildmannianus can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.

Watering: From spring to fall, during the active growth period water thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry out before watering again. With the arrival of fall, gradually reduce the watering frequency.

Fertilizing: During their growing season, Cereus cacti like regular fertilizing. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, which has been diluted to 1/4 strength, can be added to the water for each watering. Do not feed during the winter.

Repotting: While Cereus cacti are young, it is recommended to repot each year in early spring to provide them with fresh soil, inspect the root system, and move them to larger pots if necessary.

Propagation: Using stem cuttings is the easiest method to propagate Cereus because seed propagation is a slow process.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.

Toxicity of Cereus hildmannianus

Cereus cacti are non-toxic to humans or animals.

Subspecies of Cereus hildmannianus

  • Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus

Links

  • Back to genus Cereus
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Plants→Cereus→Monstruosed Hedge Cactus (Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus 'Monstrosus')

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Cactus/Succulent
Sun Requirements:Full Sun
Fruit:Showy
Dehiscent
Flowers:Showy
Nocturnal
Flower Color:White
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Resistances:Drought tolerant
Containers:Needs excellent drainage in pots

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Cereus Species, Andes Organ Pipe, Hedge Cactus, Peruvian Apple Cactus, Queen of the Night

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cereus (KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: hildmannianus (hild-man-ee-AH-nus) (Info)
Synonym:Cereus hildmannianus subsp. xanthocarpus
Synonym:Cereus neonesioticus
Synonym:Cereus nesioticus
Synonym:Cereus xanthocarpus
Synonym:Piptanthocereus xanthocarpus

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Desert View Highlands, California

Brooklyn, New York(2 reports)

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Sep 20, 2006, ab7fh from Wittmann, AZ wrote:

We took a cutting from our last home in Phoenix and moved it to our new place in Wittmann. Elevation here is 1680 feet and the plant is doing extremely well.

In fact we have a couple segments over 10 feet tall which are now bending over in the middle making nearly a 90 deg angle. What should be done about this? Should I stake the segments? Cut them back? Any help would be appreciated.

On Mar 2, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Apparently the synonym "C. peruvianus" was "misapplied" to C. hildmannianus in a 1768 publication. "C. peruvianus" is actually a synonym of C. repandus. Lots of people call C. hildmannianus the Peruvian Apple because the plant looks very close to C. repandus which is the true Peruvian Apple.
Some publications list C. hildmannianus as "Hedge Cactus & Queen of the Night" The main identifying characteristic for C. repandus is it has pinkish white flowers instead of white or white/yellowish flowers and the flowers are smaller.

The main differences between the two subspecies of Cereus hildmannianus are:
Subspecies 'hildmannianus' the stems grow in a more upright fashion and the plant has a more overall compactness look to it. The spines (if any) are also less th. read more an an eighth inch long.
Subspecies 'uruguayanus' Alot of the stems growing out from the base are at slight angles instead of upright and dosen't look as compact. The spines are longer than a quarter inch. The flowers are the same on both subspecies.

On Apr 16, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very large branching columnar cactus up to 30' tall. Develops a thick woody trunk up to 3' in diameter. Large white blooms with yellowish centers at night (not sure what time of year- spring maybe?).


Plant Highlights

Cereus is a genus of columnar cacti native to South America (east of the Andes) and islands in the southern Caribbean. 23 species are recognized in The New Cactus Lexicon (2006), but there are also numerous unresolved names, and a thorough treatment of the genus is long overdue. In California, the most widely grown species is undoubtedly Cereus hildmannianus, though it is frequently labeled incorrectly as Cereus peruvianus.

Cereus hildmannianus is an imposing plant with many dull green to bluish-green branches, reaching a height of 30 feet (9 m) or more. The stems usually have 5 or 6 ribs and a diameter of about 6 inches (15 cm), with slight constrictions which mark the end of one year’s growth and the start of the next. Older plants usually have a short woody trunk below the lowest branches, but sometimes this is lacking. The spines are variable, with most plants in cultivation having very short spines, while some forms have longer ones.

This species flowers in the latter part of the summer and into early autumn (generally between July and early October at the Ruth Bancroft Garden). The flowers are 4 to 5½ inches across (10-14 cm), with the lower part a smooth green tube, lacking spines or hairs, and the upper part funnel-shaped and composed of many tepals. The outermost tepals are green and sepal-like, giving way to red-tinged ones above this, and then white inner ones forming the mouth of the flower.

After being pollinated, the lower part of the flower swells to become a smooth oval fruit, while the upper part withers and turns brown. The fruits enlarge as they develop, changing color from green to purple to pinkish-red. At maturity, they split open to expose the white pulp, and embedded in this are the small black seeds. The fruit is sweet and tasty, and is eaten by birds as well as people. Because of the smooth round reddish fruit, the common name “apple cactus” is sometimes used for this species.

Cereus hildmannianus is easy to grow from cuttings. A severed arm should first be left for a week or more to callus, and then it can be inserted into a pot or into the ground and allowed to root. The important thing is to be aware of how huge the plant gets, so that it does not get placed in a bed with insufficient room. It is cold-hardy down to 25° F (-4° C), but can be damaged by cold spells that drop below this.


Cereus Species, Andes Organ Pipe, Peruvian Apple, Queen of the Night, Spiny Hedge Cactus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cereus (KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus
Synonym:Cereus uruguayanus
Synonym:Piptanthocereus uruguayanus

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gardeners' Notes:

On May 25, 2010, RxBenson from Pikesville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

My curious cat just knocked over my Cereus and snapped it in half except for the skin on one side. I did my best to keep it connected so it wouldn't dry out while I scouted up first aid materials. I tied it in place using a bamboo plant stake, stabilized it and then decided to use petroleum jelly around the split to try to minimize any oozing and seal the graft. I then generously watered it.

I know that I should have just separated them and dried their raw ends and then restarted the top piece, but I started it from seed a decade ago and was so hoping it might bloom in the next couple years. I am devastated, and.

I am hoarse from screaming at the cat!

Any Cereus doctors out there. ( I posted my efforts in the image section.)

On Jun 1, 2007, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Apparently the synonym "C. peruvianus" was "misapplied" to C. hildmannianus in a 1768 publication. "C. peruvianus" is actually a synonym of C. repandus. Lots of people call C. hildmannianus the Peruvian Apple because the plant looks very close to C. repandus which is the true Peruvian Apple.
Some publications list C. hildmannianus as "Hedge Cactus & Queen of the Night" The main identifying characteristic for C. repandus is it has pinkish white flowers instead of white or white/yellowish flowers and the flowers are smaller.

The main differences between the two subspecies of Cereus hildmannianus are:
Subspecies 'hildmannianus' the stems grow in a more upright fashion and the plant has a more overall compactness look to it. The spines are also less than a quar. read more ter inch long.
Subspecies 'uruguayanus' Alot of the stems growing out from the base are at slight angles instead of upright and dosen't look as compact. The spines are longer than a quarter inch. The flowers are the same on both subspecies.


Watch the video: How To Plant Cereus Peruvianus Cactus Cuttings Florida


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