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Spiraled Cereus

Spiraled Cereus


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Cereus validus 'Spiralis' (Spiraled Cereus)

Cereus validus 'Spiralis' (Spiraled Cereus), also known as Cereus forbesii 'Spiralis', is a rare, attractive cactus with numerous columnar…


Plants→Cereus→Spiraled Cereus (Cereus 'Spiralis')

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Tree
Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers:Showy
Nocturnal
Flower Color:White
Flower Time:Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Resistances:Drought tolerant
Containers:Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous:With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Thread TitleLast ReplyReplies
ID question by Baja_CosteroFeb 1, 2020 11:54 AM16
Type species by skopjecollectionMay 7, 2020 11:32 AM16
Cactus going brown? by Jo4991Mar 23, 2020 6:23 AM0
Forbesii? Carmen? by breritosupreme_Dec 24, 2019 4:29 PM4
Bent/Stretching Cacti by _melOct 5, 2019 7:12 AM16
Do you have this plant? by _Bleu_Apr 11, 2019 8:12 PM4
Huge Cereus forbesii spiralis Available. by ljones26Dec 24, 2018 9:36 AM5
need help with ID by pappy44Jul 10, 2018 6:49 PM4
2018 Spring Plant Swap - CHAT by RickMJun 14, 2018 10:12 AM300
Cactus and succulents chat by Baja_CosteroMar 26, 2021 4:51 PM9,607
Floral Alphabet Soup the Letter C! by KatEnnsDec 31, 2017 10:11 PM53

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I think @karmatree may not still be around, but @mcvansoest and @skopjecollection please weigh in if you disagree with my proposal.



By the way, the @ tag to summon a member doesn't work if it's added as an edit. You have to compose a new post in the thread for that purpose. As it happens, there was no need to summon me because I've been following this thread.

The problem I've run into is that the Catalogue of Life does not recognize Cereus forbesii as an accepted name. Any thoughts on this?





My cactus reference (Anderson, 2001) has C. forbesii as a synonym for C. validus. Unless that has changed again, I guess the solution would be to merge C. forbesii into C. validus in our database. Here are the relevant entries:

However, now that I look for C. validus, I see that both our database and the CoL have C. validus as a synonym of Acanthocereus tetragonus. I do not know when this change happened. Maybe Thijs can elaborate.

All of the photos in the first entry above are monstrose plants, so they might more specifically belong under their own new entry for a monstrose C. validus (or Acanthocereus, if that's the name to use). I do not know if this entry would be distinct from the cultivar called "Ming Thing".

There is definitely more than one kind of monstrose (Acantho)cereus.


The CoL does show C. validus as a synonym for Acanthocereus tetragonus, but the latest taxonomic scrutiny of that plant was back in 2013.

I'm going to remove the species name from the 'Spiralis' entry. I don't know what I'm going to do with the species entry for C. forbesii yet. I have to have more current information on C. forbesii and C. validus.



If you can match the specific plant to well identified pictures from the Huntington you might have a shot, but there is enough hybridization among the US grown species that at this point IDing one from someone's yard that has absolutely no 'chain of custody' to its origins is pretty difficult.

I had about 5 different ones growing at my old place all except one did not fit with any of the officially described species in terms of appearance, and that one that I did feel fairly comfortable about came as a cutting from the DBG, which I expect may have had the correct ID, but.

Anyway, it is news to me that Acanthocereus tetragonus is a synonym of cereus validus now. maybe they have genetic or molecular marker study results to suggest that?
The one thing you can say about A. tetragonus is that it has a very distinct flower compared to most Cereus plants I have seen. I actually had the non-fairy castle version growing at my old place. I took a couple of cuttings, but I am not sure yet if they will make it.

I will try and look into this, but I have some grant proposal deadlines coming up so am mightily distracted at the moment (to the great pleasure of the giant weeds that have sprung up all over my yard).


It was a genus of 6 species at one point (Anderson, 2001) but the CoL and our database have it as a monotypic genus (A. tetragonus) and that formulation agrees with a 2011 book I have called "Mapping the Cacti of Mexico", one of whose authors did his masters thesis on Acanthocereus systematics. That monotypic Acanthocereus is found over a vast area from 26°N to 3°N. Perhaps it absorbed the former C. validus around this time? I'm just guessing, without evidence.

Apparently Acanthocereus absorbed species from Peniocereus in years since then, for example this one:

so that genus is no longer monotypic (as it appears in our database). The details would presumably be available in Joel Lode's "Taxonomy of the Cactaceae" (2015?) which is out of my price range. But one section of Peniocereus (as it was defined before) was shown by DNA to fall together with Acanthocereus, and presumably that drove the renaming of those species.

None of this sheds any light on whether Cereus forbesii or Cereus validus would be Acanthocereus tetragonus today, I just thought I'd share what I have learned in case it helps. That genus has been through some changes.



If you can match the specific plant to well identified pictures from the Huntington you might have a shot, but there is enough hybridization among the US grown species that at this point IDing one from someone's yard that has absolutely no 'chain of custody' to its origins is pretty difficult.

I had about 5 different ones growing at my old place all except one did not fit with any of the officially described species in terms of appearance, and that one that I did feel fairly comfortable about came as a cutting from the DBG, which I expect may have had the correct ID, but.

Anyway, it is news to me that Acanthocereus tetragonus is a synonym of cereus validus now. maybe they have genetic or molecular marker study results to suggest that?
The one thing you can say about A. tetragonus is that it has a very distinct flower compared to most Cereus plants I have seen. I actually had the non-fairy castle version growing at my old place. I took a couple of cuttings, but I am not sure yet if they will make it.

I will try and look into this, but I have some grant proposal deadlines coming up so am mightily distracted at the moment (to the great pleasure of the giant weeds that have sprung up all over my yard).


It has Acanthocereus with 18 species, including the ones from my 2001 reference (apparently back in style) plus the new ones transferred from Peniocereus.

I don't know if the database should be updated with this information, but it would seem to be the most current and authoritative I can find on the web. Lode's list has Cereus validus as a valid species again, with C. forbesii as a synonym (like I mentioned earlier).

The renaming that Zuzu did works fine with this paradigm. I suppose we can wait for the CoL to catch up before reorganizing Acanthocereus and Cereus.



The problem is that the list of taxa without any other reference means it is hard to judge what the reasoning was behind including/excluding/merging it somewhere is.
From a purely scientific point of view (sorry it is hard to keep the scientist in me at bay here) these kind of review works can be incredibly invaluable if you have free and easy access to all the literature and work that has gone into them, so you can evaluate whether or not the interpretation purely represents in the best way possible the scientific facts or represents more the opinion/interpretation of the author (no matter how well respected (or not) that person is), for which there is unfortunately plenty of room.

However as something available to the general public, who are less expert at this, even other scientists not as steeped in the intricacies of cactus taxonomy and the new genetic and molecular techniques being used, this now becomes a piece of literature to be cited, potentially putting many things out there as 'fact' that may not be accepted as broadly as such a published work would suggest. I guess for most of us who just like to grow these plants this does not matter, but if I was a scientist in the field I would probably encounter some of the potentially negative effects of this (speaking from experience in my own field), when trying to publish work that may differ from what is represented in Lode's books.

Again it is great that someone is doing this work, but it needs to be put in proper context for what it may mean for cactus taxonomy and nomenclature. It would be great if all of this work could just be accepted as is - again: Lode has done/is doing an incredible job putting it all together - but from experience in my own field I am skeptical that it will go that smoothly and certainly not quickly.

For the amateur or even professional cactus grower this of course foremost a source of large scale confusion. Peniocereus is now what? Why is a significant part of Echinopsis now Trichocereus again? Why were they merged in the first place?


As a fun aside: I would like to point out that C. validus is considered a viable species by Lode, and not a synonym of A. tetragonus.


So the requirement for peer review in taxonomic changes is apparently not a black and white situation by any stretch, and I would think it helpful to point out that vast comprehensive works like this do not ever happen in a vacuum. This is Lode's book but I'm sure plenty of other people had their say on the outcome, and I'm sure its conclusions will continue to be debated (by lowly gardeners like myself and taxonomic experts alike) for some time.

For what it's worth, the list of taxa linked above is not a substitute for the books in all their 1400+ pages, nor is it meant to be. I would imagine there is plenty of explanation in the books about the changes that made it into the list of species, why they happened, and what the situation was like before (Peniocereus, Trichocereus, etc.). Not that the rationale is necessarily a fair justification, but it's there, I'm pretty sure. For those who are willing to shell out the $$ to see it.

As for me (no kind of expert) I would trust Lode's list any day over what is currently shown in the CoL.


Twisted Cereus, Spiraled Cereus, Contorted Cereus 'Spiralis'

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cereus (KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus
Cultivar: Spiralis
Additional cultivar information:(aka Contortus, Tortuosus)

Category:

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Where to Grow:

Danger:

Plant has spines or sharp edges use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:

On Oct 7, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

It is a heavy bloomer. I'm looking forward to seeing it spiral to a large size.

On Jul 7, 2004, JerryRieman from Homosassa, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have 6 Spiraled Cereus Peruvianus plants which were cuttings from a plant approximately 7 ft. tall. Each cutting was 3 ft. tall and I planted them directly into the sand about 6 inches deep in October, 2003. They began blooming on July 6, 2004. The blossoms are 6 inches wide and white and open after dark, lasting until late morning before withering and closing.


Cereus forbesii 'Spiralis': The Twisted Cactus

Also known as Cereus peruvianus 'Spiralis' or spiral cactus, this interesting twisted cactus is easy to cultivate.

It grows quickly and has a striking elongated stem with spectacular blooms. These plants are thought to come from a clone derived from vegetative propagation of the original plant discovered in Peru.

Cereus forbesii 'Spiralis' is a trunkless cactus that forms numerous tall, columnar, blue-green, spiral stems branching at the base in a candelabra-like arrangement. Stems have a waxy blossom on the surface, reach a height of 6-13 feet and are 4-5 inches in diameter. The stems have five to nine widely spaced ribs. Spiraled Cereus is a heavy bloomer. Large purple fruits are easily produced when blossoms are pollinated. It is not poisonous. The spines are sharp so the plant should be handled carefully. Synonyms include Cereus peruvianus forma spirale, Cereus peruvianous tortuosus, Twisted Cereus, and Contorted Cereus.

Until the 20th century, most gardens and major collections of cacti and succulents were owned by the wealthy who became patrons of botanists in return for new species to add to their gardens.


How to grow and maintain Cereus forbesii 'spiralis'

Light:
Best in light shade when young. When mature, full sun is recommended. Needs bright light all year.

Soil:
Thrives in a rich, organic, well-drained soil mix.

Water:
Water regularly during the growing season, but water sparingly during fall and winter when the plant is dormant. Allow the top of the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.

The plant is suitable for xeriscaping.

Temperature:
Prefers average room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F (16°C – 24°C). The temperature should not drop below 50° (10°C).

Fertilizer:
Fertilize twice a month with a complete fertilizer or use a good cactus fertilizer.

Repotting:
Repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown the pot. Make sure the soil is dry and remove the plant from the pot. Knock away old soil and prune any rotted or dead roots. Move to a new pot filled with fresh soil.

Propagation:
Cereus forbesii 'Spiralis' is easily propagated from cuttings taken in the spring and can also be grown from seeds. Sever a branch and replant in moist, well-drained soil. Before replanting, allow the cut end to dry out and harden in order to make it easier for roots to develop.


(above: one of my Cereus forbesii 'Spiralis' plants)

Pests and Diseases

Spiraled Cereus is susceptible to mealybugs and scale. If detected, apply an insecticidal soap to the plant according to the directions on the label.

Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and very hardy. Make sure they receive sufficient water during the summer without becoming waterlogged, and fertilize for best results. If the roots have become black or mushy, the cactus may be suffering from root rot. Cut away the affected parts and replant. Most gardeners who grow cacti should be able to cultivate this variety without a problem.

It may become necessary to repot your Cereus if it outgrows its container. If so, make sure the soil is dry and then remove the pot. Knock away old soil and prune away rotted or dead roots. Replant in a new pot and backfill with fresh soil. Make sure not to overwater as this can lead to root rot.

These cacti propagate easily from cuttings. Simply cut a branch and replant in moist, well-drained soil. The branch should be left to dry for about a week before potting and then watered lightly.

Origin of the plant

A few branches from the original plant were imported in Europe around 1980 at a very high price. The original clone was characterized by strong gray stems covered with a dense pruina coating and having short spines ("short-spined clone") however, at the present time almost all these plants are hybrid specimens grown from seed derived from cross-pollination, most likely with Cereus peruvianus or Cereus stenogonus. They are usually darker blue-green in color and have longer spines.


Watch the video: Night-blooming cereus cactus flower time-lapse