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Copiapoa streptocaulon
(Syn: Copiapoa marginata)


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of Cacti and Succulents.

Copiapoa streptocaulon KK72 Cerro Moreno, Antofagasta, Chile, 600 m.

Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and cultivars of Copiapoa calderana.
(This Taxon has lots of synonyms ( like many other Copiapoa) with several controversial varieties and subspecies, and comprises several different forms, but where each form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics):



Family: Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Scientific name:   Copiapoa streptocaulon  (Hooker emend Ritt.) Ritter comb. nov. in: K.u.a.S. 12:1:1961

Origin: Type locality (according to Ritter, not Hooker) Morro Copiapo, south-westerly from Caldera, on the north Chilean coast. Area of distribution: only known from the Type Locality. Field number FR 511. (while Copiapoa marginata grows in the coastal hills near Antofagasta and is the most northerly species of this genus)

Systematically this species stands between Copiapoa dura which grows further to the south-east and Copiapoa bridgesii  which grows to the north.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.


  • Echinocactus streptocaulon Hooker
    In: Curtis‘s Bot, Mag, 77 (1851)
  • Echinocactus marginatus Salm-Dyck
    Original Publication: Allgem. Gartenztg., 13:386 1845

Cultivation: Needs full sun, otherwise the bodies tended to elongate in cultivation, but it should be protected from excessive heat and sun in summer.  Requires light watering, and good drainage. Keep warm and dry in winter to avoid rot.  Frost tolerance 0°C

Propagation: Seeds (offsets rarely), Grafting is often used to speed growth rate, and to create a back-up to plants in collection.



Body upright, columnar-cylindrical, almost like a Cereus, forming a somewhat open clump.
Stem: Up to 50 cm tall, 7-10 cm in diameter, basally narrowed, grass-green to greys-green, crown blunt whit creamy-brown wool, which is in no way obscured by flowers
Ribs: 10-14, very sharp, broad obtuse, separated by broad intervals, neither tubercled nor notched up to 1 cm tall, straight or running up in a screw-like spiral, with sharply indented furrows between.
Areoles: Rounded 0,5-1 cm in diameter, closely approaching each other or touching one another, young areoles with abundant grey or brownish wool, becoming ash-grey or black and bare in age.
Spines: Dark-brown becoming chalky-white as they ages. Spines clusters very closely set.
Radial spines: 5-7 strong, straight, spreading out in a ray, 1 - 2 cm. long, the sideways or downwards pointing ones commonly the longest,
Central spines: 1 standing up vertically, very rigid, porrect, 2 to 3(-4) cm long (longer than the radials)
Conical-napifom root-stock, rapidly tapering with thick neck.
Flowers: 3 to 4 developing at a time, ,with characteristic Copiapoa flower-scent, sprouting out from the wool of the crown, yellow, scarcely standing out from the spines, when completely open only 2,5 to 3 cm in diameter, with lanceolate-spathulate perianth segments approx 15 mm long, 7 mm large, narrower below, rounded off above, pale yellow, the outermost reddish at the tips and expanded. Floral tube funnel-form 1-1.5 cm long, exterior with a few larger, greenish scales becoming red-brown above. Nectar chamber 3-5 mm. long, 3-4 mm wide half open. Filaments pale yellow, the lower ones 1.2 cm. long, the upper 0.7 to 0.9 cm. long, anthers citron yellow. Style1.75 - 2 cm long, 2 mm. thick, (longer than the stamens) with 9-15 rayed pale yellow stigma lobes, without any narrowing above the ovary.
Fruit: Small, 1 up to 1.2 cm. long, 0.8 up to 1.2 cm. broad, barrel shaped, (ovary 3 to 7 mm in diameter) pale green, or with a faint red tint, at the upper end greener or more reddish-brown, usually quite hairless and scaleless, or with few (1 or 3) red scales. Dehising from a lid-like top cracking when ripe.
Blooming season:
Spring and summer

Seeds: 1 mm long, 0,7 mm wide, 03 mm thick, black, somewhat shiny, with very small verrucae, hilum at the basal end inclined half ventral-wards, oval, white.

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Home | E-mail | Plant files | Mail Sale Catalogue | Links | Information | Search

All the information and photos in cactus art file are now available also in the new the Enciclopedia of Cacti. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.