This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(referring to the crown of long hair). Syn. Pilocereus. Cactaceae. Mostly large columnar plants, single or branched, usually characterized by an abundance of wool or long white hair developing at the top or on one side near the top: flowers nocturnal, small, thick, fleshy, naked: fruit small, globular berry, naked: seeds black. - Some 16 or more species are known.
The culture of the species is similar to that of the arborescent species of Cereus. The species of Cepha-locereus are well suited only for large collections and are rarely seen elsewhere, except in the case of C. senilis, of which enormous quantities are shipped to Europe by commercial dealers. See Succulents.
(Pilocereus senilis, Lem.). Old Man Cactus. Columnar, reaching a height of 35 ft. and a diam. of 1 ft., branching at the very base, the branches becoming parallel with the parent: ribs 20-30, very little elevated; areoles bearing 20-30 white, wavy bristles 2-5 in. long; later appear also, at first 1, then 3-5 strong, yellowish spines: flowers very numerous in the cephalium, nearly 4 in. long, red outside, reddish white within: fruit violet, 2 in. long. Cent. Mex. R.H. 1889, p. 568; 1890, p. 128.
(Pilocereus Houlletii, of authors, not of Lem.). Tree-like, attaining 40 ft. in height: branches divaricate: cult, plants usually 3-4 in. diam.: ribs 6-8, rounded, glaucous: radial spines 7-9, spreading, 1/2in. long, honey yellow; central twice as long and stronger: areoles of the sterile stem with more or less hairs, which in the fruiting area are very numerous, making a shaggy tract sometimes 1 ft. long: flowers 3 in. long, imbedded in the wool, turbinate, greenish-red outside, rose-red within: fruit dark red, depressed-globose. Mex. R.H. 1862, pp. 427-30.
(Pilocereus Royenii, Rumpl. P.floccosus, Lem.). Columnar, branching, reaching 15 ft. height, 2-3 in. diam.: ribs 9-10, obtuse, bluish, pruin-ose: spines 12-16, rigid, divaricate, bright amber-yellow, the inner ones larger, nearly an inch long: on the sterile branches long hairs are found on areoles, on the fertile bract these are more numerous and aggregated: flowers and fruit as in the last species, but lighter in color. Isl. of stem Croix.
(Pilocereus Hoppenstedtii, Web.). Columnar, simple, slender, reaching a height of 30 ft.: ribs numerous, more than 16: radial spines 14-18, very short; centrals 5-8, the lower longest one reaching 3 in.; all the spines at first yellowish, then white: cephalium of 1-2 in. long tufts of yellowish hairs, forming a narrow bract on the north side of the plant: flowers 3 in. long, bell-shaped, whitish, with rosy tips. Mex.
Brit. & Rose (Pilocereus polylophus, Salm-Dyck. Cereus Nickelsii, Hort.). Columnar, attaining a height of 50 ft. and a diam. of 1 1/2 ft., rarely branching: ribs 10-22, sharp-angled, shallow, the old stems perfectly cylindrical: spines small and bristle-like, less than 1/2in. long; radials 5-6; central usually 1; spines of the flowering area 2-3 in. long, crowded: flowers large, trumpet-shaped, dark red: fruit red, scaly. Mex.
Brit. & Rose (Pilocereus scoparius, Poselg.). Tree-like, richly branched, 25 ft. high, 1 ft. diam.: radial spines 12-15, very short; centrals 7-8, not much longer; in the flowering branches the spines change to longer stout bristles and the areoles are closer together, forming a bristly cephalium: flowers small, bell-shaped, reddish: fruit size of a hazelnut. Near Vera Cruz, Mex.
Rose (Pilocereus exerens, Schum. P. virens, Lem.). Branching at base, 3-4 ft. high, 2-3 in. diam., tapering above: ribs 4-6, obtuse, the sterile shoots with short, sparse, woolly hairs at the top: spines commonly 7: radials, very short, 1-3: centrals 4 times as long; woolly hairs much more abundant on the blooming plant: flowers about 3 in. long, trumpet-bell-shaped, without wool or spines. Brazil. - Not common, if occurring at all, in cult, in U. S.
The following species have been reported or may be expected in cultivation, but none is as yet at all common. C. chrysocanthus, Brit. & Rose; C. cometes, Brit. & Rose; C. lanuginosus, Brit. & Rose; C. Russellidnus, Rose (Cereus Russellianus, Rumpl.). C. nobliis, Brit.
& Rose- J. N. Rose.