ISI 2017-1. Cleistocactus hyalacanthus (K. Schumann) Roland-Gosselin

Referred to by Backeberg in his Cactus Lexicon (English translation of the German 3rd Edition, 1976) as the “false C. strausii”, some confusion may still exist between these species. However, the two are quite distinct. The more commonly cultivated C. strausii forms colonies of tightly-packed, very vertical stems to 3 m tall and 8 cm diameter covered with flexible white spination punctuated for much of the year with burgundy, tubular flowers to 8 or 9 cm long lining the upper stems. C. hyalacanthus, on the other hand, forms slightly more open colonies of more slender stems to 1 m tall and 6 cm diameter covered with longer, straw-colored, needle-like spines and red-orange flowers to 4 cm long. Adding to the confusion is the synonym C. jujuyense named for Jujuy Province in northern Argentina. The species also ranges into Salta Province where the seed for this introduction was collected by Sean Hogan (3694, UCBG 90.1247) in 1990 in the Quebrada de Escoipe, about 40 km S of Salta, Argentina. Rooted cuts of several clones of HBG 72693. $7.

Photo © 2017 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 89 (3), May-June, 2017