The whole genus is named after one of the largest specialists in cacti, the German professor Kurt Bakeberg. The genus is monotypic (includes only one species). This tree-like cactus reaches 6 cm in height and has golden yellow apical cephaly.
It grows in nature in a very limited area in the Mexican state of Michoacan. They do not hunt him too much because of his size, although his whole appearance and magnificent cephalies deserve the attention of enthusiasts. In the collections of this cactus is almost not represented. Its rarity is also justified by the fact that this cactus is included in the first annex to the provisions of the International Convention (CITES).
Cephalocereus Hoppentted (Cephalocereus Iwppenstedtii)
Very beautiful view. growing up to 10 m in height with a stem diameter of 30 cm. It is not so prickly. as his relative (see below), but his seedlings are no less beautiful. In old age, he develops lateral cephalus. which reveals white flowers 8 cm across. The species is common in southern Mexico, in the state of Puebla, where it grows on the slopes of the Teuacan Valley. It is cultivated in the same way as senile cephalocereus.
Cephalocereus senile (Cephalocereus senilis)
A very popular “old man” that attracts attention with its long, white, hairy spines. It looks particularly elegant as a seedling at the age of several years, but also quite mature specimens are an adornment of any collection. The cactus reaches a height of about 10 m and in such places as Barranca Venados or Barranca de Metstitlan creates beautiful landscapes. Thanks to this cactus, the whole area received a poetic name - "Valley of the Old Men".
Cultivation of the species is not particularly difficult; in winter, the plant should not be allowed to remain at a temperature below + 10 ° C for a long time. Despite its dense hair, the cactus is sensitive to the first rays of the sun, which can cause burns.
Southern Globular Cacti
The genus has more than 70 species, very variable, especially in the color of the flowers. - Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, at an altitude of 2000-4000 m above sea level. m., on pebbles, gravel, often form pillow-shaped forms.
Culture needs a lot of sunlight, fresh air and sharp temperature fluctuations. They have a thickened radish root, so they should be planted in deeper pots.
Southern cylindrical cacti
A. Southern Cereus - Austrocereeae Backeb.
A half-tribe was identified by K. Bakeberg on the basis of geographical distribution in South America (Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina), as well as on the basis of the presence of thorns or bristles on the flowers and fruits of spherical cacti. Southern Cereus are divided into 2 subtribes.
Genus Hilocereus (Forest Cereus)
Genus Guilocereus, Forest Cereus - Hylocereus (Berger) Britt. et Rose - creeping or epiphytic cacti with 3-sided or 3-winged stems, with numerous aerial roots. There are few or no thorns on the stems. The flowers are large, white, a flower tube without thorns. About 20 species are known that are widespread in tropical and subtropical America: from Mexico to Peru. In the wild state and in culture - in many tropical countries.
Cephalocereus senile (lat. Cephalocereus senilis) belongs to the Cactus family (lat. Cactaceae). About 50 species of the genus Cephalocereus grow in the wild, but only this species is grown under indoor conditions. It grows in Mexico.
The Latin name in translation into Russian means "the head of an old man." Unusual cactus is completely covered with long white hairs. Such a hair covering saves him from overheating and burning sunlight. The stronger the sun bake, the more hairs the plant grows.
Growth and flowering
In southern Mexico, the local population weaves warm sweaters from cephalocereus hair; they are an excellent and cheap replacement for cotton. At the end of life, the plant loses its magnificent hair and dies. For 200 years, it grows to 15 meters in height.
In an ordinary apartment, he will never reach such a huge size. Cephalocereus grows very slowly and grows 30-40 cm in height only in the first ten years of life. In indoor conditions, its flowering is quite rare, because in nature it begins to bloom only after it grows to 5-6 meters in height.
The place for growing senile cephalocereus must be selected bright and sunny. In the shade, he will be able to grow, but over time will simply become bald. In summer, it is best grown under an open sky, and with the onset of autumn, bring it into a heated room. It grows well at room temperature, but in winter it should not fall below 10 ° C.
During the period of active growth, cephalocereus should be moderately watered. Between watering, it is necessary to slightly dry the earthen lump to prevent rotting of the roots. In the dormant period, which begins in late autumn and lasts until the beginning of spring, the plant is watered very rarely and little by little, about once every 3 weeks.
Fertilize cephalocereus senile need fertilizer for cacti. Feeding is recommended not very often, only 2-3 times during the period of active growth. From a more frequent fertilizer, the plant may lose its lush hair. In winter, fertilizer is contraindicated.
Reproduction of cephalocereus is carried out by seeds. Seeds are sown in a container filled with special soil for cacti. From above they must be covered with glass and, as the soil dries, moisten it with a spray bottle. The optimum air temperature for successful seed germination is 24 ° C-26 ° C. After the first thorns appear, small cacti can be planted in small pots and gradually accustom them to the bright sunlight.
Cacti are transplanted quite rarely and only when the roots appear on the surface of the earth. It is best to transplant in the spring. In this case, it is necessary to carefully shake the plant out of the old pot and transplant into a new one, which should be only a few centimeters larger than the previous one. At the bottom of the pot, you must definitely put a good layer of drainage in order to avoid excessive moisture stagnation in the future.
During the year, cephalocereus senile can change its snow-white color to a dirty brown. This is due to the fact that a solid layer of dust and all kinds of dirt settles on it. To return it to its natural color, you have to wash it. To do this, you need warm water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. First, the ground under the cactus needs to be covered with a film. After this procedure, the plant should be well rinsed with clean warm water.
1. Seven secrets of success:
Botanical name: Cephalocereus.
Family . Cactus.
Cephalocereus Cactus - Origin . Mexico.
Height . In nature, cephalocereus reaches 15 m, in room conditions it rarely exceeds 1 m. Cephalocereus grows slowly.
Not only the onset of flowering in cephalocereus, but also the length and density of the spines of cephalocereus depends on lighting. Give this plant the brightest spot at any time of the year.
During the growing season, water cephalocereus in such a way as to completely moisten the earthen lump, but dry the top layer of soil to a depth of 2-3 cm before the next watering. In the winter months, the soil should be almost completely dry.