and © copyright by
Razvan Diaconescu (Romania ~ Targoviste)
Cleistocactus winteri are the best
of all cacti for hanging baskets.
While most of its relatives tend to be more upright, this particular
species has stems that have a pendant or trailing habit. The individual
stems can reach 100 or so cm in length. It has very attractive golden
spines and flowers are a vivid orange or salmon-pink colour and can last
for several days.
Description: It is a branching cactus of fairly rapid growth that
resembles a very robust version of the popular peanut cactus (Lobivia
chamaecereus) it forms soon tangled mounds of long stem.
Stems: spreading, arching, pendant, or trailing that can grow up
to 1m long and 2.5cm wide with many branches.
Spines: It has many short
spines that literally cover the surface of the stems.
Flowers: upturned tubular vivid orange to salmon-pink, 4 to 6 cm
in length, 5 cm across and very showy. They are repetitively and freely
produced on mature plants in spring and summer and can last for several
Fruit: Green fruit 1 cm.
Cultural Practices: Cleistocactus winteri are
of easy culture, which makes them good cacti for beginners. Require
filtered bright light, but not in full sun that will sunscald it. It
need a well drained soil mix. Water regularly in summer but allow to dry
fully before watering again. During the winter months they should be
rather kept dry. Since they are rapid growers need plenty of space for
their roots, repotting should be done every other year or when the plant
has outgrown its pot.
This cactus is sensitive to
mealy bugs that find a lot of hiding ground among the spines. Hardy
Propagation: From cuttings in spring (let them dry till the ends
callous well. Then replant them in fresh cactus soil that is ever so
slighty moist, and keep it that way till they root) or Seeds (Seed
should be sown in a well-drained soil mix. Surface sowing is the best;
seeds germinate in 14-28 days at 20° C .
Hildewimtera aureispina (now renamed Cleistocactus
winterii) is an old species that has been intensively hybridized
with other cacti (especially
Echinopsis and Lobivia sp. but also
Matucana, Akersia, ecc) giving rise to some
interesting intergeneric hybrid.
Hildewintera hybrid develops really amazing flowers of different
colours on the original pendulous "hildewintera" body and many of these
hybrids have cultivar names. This plants form soon spectacular clumps
with several flowers at a time and are quite a sight. They are
often thicker, stronger, larger growing than
H. aureispina and tend not to have the typical thin stemmed
offsets. The offsets produced being more strongly attached to the main
Scientific name: Cleistocactus winteri D.R.Hunt 1988
Common name: Golden Rat Tail
Origin: Argentina to
- Hildewintera aureispina (F.Ritter) F.Ritter 1966
- Winteria aureispina F.Ritter 1962
- Winterocereus aureispinus (F.Ritter) Backeberg 1966
- Loxanthocereus aureispinus (F.Ritter) Buxbaum 1974
- Bozicactus aureispinus (F.Ritter) G.D.Rowley 1975
- Cleistocactus aureispinus (F.Ritter) D.R.Hunt 1987 (n.v.publ.
not Fric 1928 (C. baumannii).
Etymology: Named after
Hildegarda Winter (1893-1975) the sister of Friedrich Ritter prominent
expert and discoverer of lot of cacti.
The very popular crested form