Experts can’t agree on the scientific names of this cactus. Is it Acanthocereus tetragonus, or Cereus
This common yet unusual plant is also known as (deep breathe in) Acanthocereus
Why So Many Names?
It seems there have been issues because plants are often reclassified. Scientific tools become more sophisticated. Our botonists and biologists learn more. And then they move plants to different genres and families.
Let’s Break It Down…
Cereus hildmannianus was named and first documented by Karl Moritz Schumann in Flora Brasiliensis in 1890.
Cereus uruguayanus was named and first documented by Roberto Kiesling in Darwinian in 1982.
However, the species was named and documented as Piptanthocereus uruguayanus by Friedrich Ritter in Kakteen Südamerika in 1979. BUT, somehow it was all screwed up and wasn’t an accepted name.
This Plant Has Multiple Personalities!
Some have the Cereus
Acanthocereus (Acan·tho·ce·re·us) tetragonus is a species of cactus that is native to the coastal hammocks and thickets of sandy coastal habitats in central and southern Florida, the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, and northern South America.
Common names include Fairy Castle Cactus, Night-blooming Cereus, Barbed-wire Cactus, Sword Pear, Dildo Cactus, Triangle Cactus, and Órgano-
The species was first named and described as Cactus
Acanthocereus tetragonus (L.) Hummelinck is also a correct and accepted scientific name.
The Fairy Castle Cactus was moved to the genus Acanthocereus in 1938 by Pieter Wagenaar Hummelinck.
But the true self of this plant is controversial and some suggest that it may be a form of
Peruvian Apple (Cereus hildmannianus).
Or even a dwarf form of
Spiny Hedge Cactus (Cereus hildmannianus subs. uruguayanus).
The Fairy Castle BloomsOr I should Say WHEN!
The Fairy Castle Cactus rarely blooms. Cacti need perfect growing conditions to produce flowers and the plants in the Cereus family bloom at night.
Fairy Castle Cactus flowers are large and white and usually will not occur until the plant is ten years old or more.
The flowers are showy and are white with a deep red and orange or red-orange center. The flowers bloom at night and close during the day. This cactus blooms a few times a year for several weeks at a time
This highly spiny, often large, and thicket-forming, has stems up to 10 feet or possibly taller.
Fairy Castle Cactus Care
This cactus is a full sun plant that requires well-drained soil.
For best results, plant Fairy Castle Cactus in an unglazed clay pot that allows excess moisture to evaporate.
Place Fairy Castle Cactus in a bright sunny location that is away from drafts or air conditioning.
Water until the liquid comes out of the drainage holes and then allow the soil to completely dry out before watering. Overwatering is the easiest way to damage a cactus.
Fertilize with a good cactus fertilizer in spring when growth resumes. Feed monthly or with irrigation in a dilution that is half strength. Suspend the feeding in winter.
Click to read The Perfect Solution For Healthy Plants, where we share a homemade formula!
Propagation can be from cuttings. Cut section with a sharp blade. Allow the cut surface to callous over before planting in cactus soil. We recommend Miricle Grows brand.
You can also propagate using the seed. Allow unblemished fruit to ripen. Collect, clean and dry seeds. Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed. Sow directly into soil after last frost of the year.
We are not sure if we helped or confused you more. Whether you call your Fairy Castle Cactus an Acanthocereus or Cereus, this is a lovely plant that is easy to make part of your collection.