Silver Torch Cactus

Silver Torch Cactus, scientific name Cleistocactus strausiiis a perennial cactus of the family Cactaceae.

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It is native to high mountain regions of Bolivia and Argentina. Its slender, erect, grey-green columns can reach a height of up to 10ft but are only 2.5 inches in diameter.

The Silver Torch Cactus columns are formed from around twenty-five ribs and are densely covered with areoles, supporting four yellow-brown spines up to two inches long and twenty shorter white radials.

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Older plants, over 18 inches tall, produce deep red, burgundy, flowers in late summer.

The up to three inches long cylindrical flowers protrude horizontally from the columns.

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Cleistocactus strausii is easy to grow so long as over-watering the plant is avoided. Cacti grown indoors tend to gather dust.

These spiny cacti can be effectively washed down with a soft shaving brush.

When cleaning them, it is a good idea to protect the roots by laying a piece of plastic sheeting over the potting mixture to prevent excessive wetting at the base of the plant.

It is also a good idea to use newspaper as a wrapping to protect the hands from the spines when handling the cactus.

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