Lophocereus shotii Monstrose "Totem Pole" Species (Thin Variety)
Cactus species Lophocereus schottii is a large columnar cactus which tends to be branching at the base, creating a large clump sort of candelabra in form and can slowly reach a height of 9' to 15'+ feet. Lophocereus schottii has relatively few ribs, 5 to 8 on average that are widely-spaced. One of the most distinguishing features of Lophocereus schottii is the tips of the taller, mature stems which eventually become covered with long, hairlike, thick brownish-grey spines along rib edges which resemble a beard, one reason for its nick name of "The old man cactus", younger growth tends to display shorter spines until they mature. Individual stem growth averages 4" to 8"+ in diameter and are green to glaucous green colored.
Lophocereus Schottii is very drought tolerant and makes an excellent landscape plant choice for the drought tolerant or desert landscape in the garden. Large specimens are very impressive!
Specimen Size: 5" tall by 2" in diameter, the final image is a picture of a mature shotii.
Common Names : "The old man cactus", "Senita", "Whisker Cactus", "Woolly Rhinoceros". Note ; Another common name "Totem Pole Cactus" refers to this species but in its monstrose form-click the links further down this page to view several monstrose forms of Lophocereus schottii that we also grow.
Synonyms : Cereus schotti, Pilocereus schottii, Pachycereus Schottii Cereus sargentianus, Pilocereus sargentianus, Cereus schottii, Pilocereus, Cereus schottii var. australis, Pilocereus schottii var. australis, Lophocereus australis, Lophocereus schottii var. australis, Lophocereus schottii var. tenuis.
Native To : Mexico & Arizona-U.S.A. from Baja California (Norte), Baja California Sur and the Sonora desert which extends into Arizona.
Flowers / Fruit : Has nocturnal or night blooming flowers with a waxy texture, blooms are white colored to pink or even darker pink in color. Blooming can occur from spring into fall. Flowers usually only emerge from mature stem growth from the thick wholly spines which are like horse hair-see pictures below. The fruit that follows blooming is edible and tasty, but not typically grown/harvested as a fruit crop, due primarily to there smaller size. The fruit exterior is pink to red with reddish colored pulp.
Pollination in habitat : Lophocereus Schottii has recently been found to have a mutualistic association with a moth named Upiga virescens-(Senita Moth), which pollinates the small flowers and lays its eggs in them so that the larvae can develop by feeding on the fruit tissues. This relationship closely resembles the widely known example of moth pollination in yucca species.
More Info. : Recently scientifically reclassified as Pachycereus schottii.
Native American Uses; The Seri indians used the seeds in the fruit which were ground into a type of meal and the pulp was boiled and made into a syrup. The dried stems or skeletal stems where also used like wood to make shelters.
There is also a monstrose variety of Lophocereus Schottii which is commonly called "Totem Pole Cactus" which has very interested growth, the stems are spineless. You can see this monstrose variety by clicking the link below.
There is also a monstrose form in a spiral, click the link below to view that variety.
Care : Once well established Lophocereus schottii or Pachycereus schottii requires very little water, only occasional water in summer. Keep on the dry side in winter as it does not like wet feet or soggy soil. If ground planted a good draining soil type is prefered and planting on a slight mound is recommended. About the only way to kill this variety is by overwatering. It will grow faster in rich well draining soil mix in summers, but prefers a lower nutrient sandy coarse type soil mix in winter when not in full active growth. Full sun exposure. Can not tolerate frost or temps below 32 for young plants, or to 20 degrees for larger mature plants and not for any prolonged duration only very brief periods overnight. Can tolerate high temperatures 100+ degrees, likes heat. Provide protection in winter for cold locations. Recommended for USDA zones 9-11 if grown outdoors.