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