Chamaecereus sylvestri or Peanut Cactus is a small cactus native to Argentina. The 6-9 ribbed stems are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long by ˝ inch (1.2 cm) in diameter and form dense clusters. They have 10-15 soft white bristle-like spines at each areole and are up to 3/32 of an inch long. They are easy to culture and make a good cactus for beginners.
Blooming Time: In the spring, plants have showy red flowers that are 2-2˝ inch (5-6.5 cm) wide by 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.
Culture: Chamaecereus sylvestri need full sun to high interior lighting with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix that contains 2 parts sand to 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam. To this mix, we add small gravel to ensure good drainage. The plants are well watered then allowed to dry before water is applied again. They are fertilized only once during the growing season, and the fertilizer is diluted to ˝ the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, we drop the temperatures to 45°F (7°C) and only water enough to keep them from shriveling.
Propagation: Chamaecereus sylvestri are propagated by division of large clusters, cuttings and by seed when it is available.
Chamaecereus sylvestri was featured as Plant of the Week May 7-13, 2004.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.