Columnar Cacti

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Stephanocereus

Stephanocereus: (Berg.) At one time a monotypic genus. Zappi now includes Pilosocereus luetzelburgii into Stephanocereus. From Brazil, Stephanocereus are related to the genus Arrojadoa.

S.leucostele
Stephanocereus leucostele: (Gurke) Berg.(T.)
Brazil Bahia, S. Caatinga.
S.leucostele
Stephanocereus leucostele
Collection: Heidelberg, Photo: Robert Holt

Copyright Bob Ressler, no reproduction without permission of the author.

Stephanocereus leucostele is another usual Brazilian ceroid plant. It grows to several meters in height and can make a very imposing specimen. Flowers are produced from an cephalium or extra growth of wool and bristles which is initially at the apex of the stem. However subsequently the stem grows on through this cephalium leaving a ring of flowering areoles. Further cephalia are produced leaving the stems with a jointed appearance. Stephanocereus is most nearly related to the Arrojadoas, which are smaller, mostly have reddish or pinkish flowers and are somewhat easier to grow. This plant is undoubtedly one of the more difficult cacti to grow. It will not tolerate low temperatures and seems to try and grow in the winter in the northern hemisphere. The plant illustrated was photographed at the Heidelberg Botanic Gardens more than 20 years ago

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