Oreocereus celsianus Species - Rooted
Cactus species Oreocereus celsianus is a columnar cactus reaching up to 10'+ feet tall. The stem growth averages 3-1/2" to 4" in diameter, 12-13 ribs with skin colored grey-green to dark green but the skin is barely seen as this species covers itself with fine white woolly hairs. The woolly hairs almost completely hide the brownish 1" long central spines and 7 to 9 shorter central spines underneath. The tubular flowers usually appear only near the apex or top of stems on mature plants several seasons old. Drought tolerant and hardy to 40 degrees but give some protection in locations that get frosts. The day blooming flowers are attractive to hummingbirds in the drought tolerant landscape.
Specimen Size: 11" tall by 3" in diameter.
Common Names : Old Man of the Andes
Synonyms : Pilocereus celsianus, Cereus celsianus, Borzicactus celsianus, Cereus fossulatus, Oreocereus fossulatus, Borzicactus fossulatus, Oreocereus maximus, Oreocereus neocelsianus
Native To : Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.
Flowers/ Fruit : Flowers average 3 to 4" inches long, day blooming and are magenta to pink-purplish colored, tubular in form. The fruit of Oreocereus Celsianus is globular in shape approx. 1-1/4" to 2"+ in diameter, yellow exterior in color. The fruit often splits open near the base revealing white pulp with several small black seeds inside.
Care : Hardy to 40 degrees, give some temporary protection such as plastic covering or small tarp, breathable cloth if temps drop below 40 degrees. Little water in winter, keep on the dry side in winter. Water occasionally in summer. Semi-rich good draining soil. Full sun coastal locations in summer, provide a break from full sun for hot inland locations in mid-summer.
Note : it has been said by various growers that With adequate protection in winter this species can survive even lower temps planted outside in the landscape.This species at our location is outside all year long without any special protection, but our weather in Southern, California is relatively mild but has touched down to 27 degrees briefly overnight, and a frost at 30s and no damage was incurred.
More Info. : Oreocereus Celsianus was previously scientifically classified as Cereus fossulatus so more info. on this species can also be found in older cactus books and publications under Cereus fossulatus.Oreocereus "Oreo" is from Greek -"OROS" meaning mountain and the Latin "Cereus" meaning candle, hence Mountain cereus or Mountain candle.
Growth characteristics ; Oreocereus Celsianus will naturally pup / produce offsets from sides of mature stems, usually close to a segment separation point and occasionally from the soil line