Cephalocereus senilis

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Cephalocereus senilis (Haw.) Pfeiff.

Cactaceae

Life form: tree
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   9

Moisture: dry

Arrangement: whorled
Leaves:

Shape: acicular

Division: not specified

Shape: many-stellate
Fruit: berry

63D / e981ab 

Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Caryophyllidae
Superordo:
Caryophyllanae
Ordo:
Caryophyllales

Cephalocereus senilis is a succulent tree.

Naming

Cephalocereus senilis was already described and the name validly published by Adrian Hardy Haworth. It was Louis Karl Georg Pfeiffer, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1838.

Taxonomy

Cephalocereus senilis is a species in the genus Cephalocereus which contains approximately 6 to 45 species and belongs to the family of the Cactaceae (Cactus Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The trees are comparatively slow-growing and reach heights of 10 to 12 metres. The plants reach a width of 1.5 to 2 metres.

Wood and Bark

Leaves

Cephalocereus senilis has whorled leaves. The leaves are acicular.

Flowers and Fruits

Cephalocereus senilis produces solitary pink many-stellate flowers from June to August.

The trees produce berries.

Root System

Distribution

Cephalocereus senilis is native to Central Mexico. It is a protected species according to the Washington Convention.

Cultivation

The trees prefer a sunny situation on dry soil. They tolerate temperatures down to -7°C (USDA zone 9).

Uses

Suited as indoor plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.


Cultivars

Poisonousness

Cephalocereus senilis is toxic.

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Sudden wilting and pale green discolouration indicate a fungal infection (phytophthora). Remove infected plants. Avoid by improving drainage and over-fertilization.

Scale insects that sit on the undersides of the leaves and excrete honeydew can be controlled with insecticide or biologically with parasitic wasps.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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