Cereus jamacaru is a handsome, fast-growing columnar cactus from Brazil which quickly forms a sculptural specimen for a large airy sunlit space. In its native habitat it can reach up to 10m tall, branching to form a tall multi-columned tree, turning woody at the base with its new growth a greyish-blue. It has high prominant ribs and spines that are yellowish-brown produced from woolly aureolae that are separated by a distinctive notch. The spines turn darker with age. Mature specimens produce magnificent displays of over-sized night-blooming white flowers followerd by a bright red fruit.
In cultivation in the UK, Cereus is best grown in a large terracotta or glazed container that will allow it to grow to a good size but ideally manageble enough to be able to take outside during the summer months where it can bask in full unfiltered sunlight and enjoy regular waterings. It is not winter-hardy at all in the UK and even in a cool unheated glasshouse is susceptible to sudden drops in temperature. A covering of fleece is advisable or better still, bring it indoors where its architectural form can be admired by all.
Sometimes used as a rootstock for grafting, this utilitarian function has meant its sculptural contemporary elegance has often been overlooked by collectors more intent on the rare or unusual but for a quick-growing columnar cactus that will develop a classic branching habit and look just right in that well-lit corner of your living room or conservatory, Cereus jamacaru is hard to beat. Move it out to your balcony or terrrace in the summer and bring it back in by mid-October.
|Synonyms||Cactus jamacaru, Cereus horribarbis, Cereus jamacaru var. caesius, Cereus jamacaru var. glaucus, Cereus jamacaru subsp. goiasensis, Cereus jamacaru subsp. jamacaru, Piptanthocereus goiasensis, Piptanthocereus jamacaru|
|Cultivation||Full sun. Gritty, well-drained mineral substrate. Water well in the growing season and tail off by October and keep dry from autumn to March|
|Eventual Height||2-3m (larger in habitat)|
|Hardiness||Not hardy in the UK. Only just tolerant of cool conditions during winter in an unheated glasshouse (dependent on location) but sensibly under fleece, ideally a couple of layers. In colder regions it would be wise to bring indoors|
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