Cleistocactus strausii is a branching columnar cactus from the high mountain ranges of Bolivia and Argentina.
The beautifully spined plants can reach a height of approximately 1 meter or more. Each areole has about 30 or more white spines as well as four longer yellowish spines. Old plants can form large clumps.
The long thin red flowers are diurnal and appear in summer.
Cultivation requires a well drained cactus compost, full sun and adult plants can withstand frost quite well. Propagation is from seed or cuttings. The wounds from the cuttings should be allowed to dry properly before planting as otherwise rot sets in easily.
Although the plants in habitat normally do not get subjected to high summer temperatures, plants at (Little Karoo) have thrived in summer temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius. The plants do not set seed under these conditions easily though.
Cleistocactus strausii in cultivation.
Cleistocactus strausii flowers.