Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Old Man Opuntia)

Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Old Man Opuntia)

Scientific Name

Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb

Common Names

Old Man Opuntia, Cotton Pole, Cotton Pole Cactus, Cotton Coral, Cotton Coral Cactus

Synonyms

Austrocylindropuntia chuquisacana, Cylindropuntia vestita, Opuntia chuquisacana, Opuntia vestita, Pseudotephrocactus vestitus, Trichopuntia vestita, Cylindropuntia teres

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Austrocylindropuntieae
Genus: Austrocylindropuntia

Description

Austrocylindropuntia vestita is a cactus with slender cylindrical stems, branched basally and near the top, and covered densely with long, white hairs. The stems grow up to 25 inches (60 cm) tall and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. They have thin leaves and a few white, up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) long spines. Flowers are deep red or violet, up to 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. They appear at the top of the stems from late spring to early summer.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different types of Prickly Pears may need slightly different care. All are desert cacti that need lots of sun, lots of light, and very little water. If you live in a hot, arid area, these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.

These cacti will grow just fine in a garden, but they can be grown in pots as well. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the cactus in a new pot and backfill it with potting soil. As with a new cutting, make sure not to water a newly repotting Prickly Pear for a brief period to avoid rotting its roots.

Opuntia can propagate either by cuttings or by seed. To propagate by cuttings, sever pads from a plant and let them dry so that the wounds heal. Then place the plants in dry soil and refrain from watering them until they begin to grow to avoid rotting them.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Opuntia.

Origin

Austrocylindropuntia vestita is native to Bolivia and northern Argentina.

Links

  • Back to genus Austrocylindropuntia
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

Photo Gallery


Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.





Scientific Name: Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeberg 1939

Common name(s): include: "Cotton Coral Cactus", "Cotton Pole", "Old Man Opuntia"

Origin: Bolivia

Conservastion Status: CITES Appendix II Listed Plant

Etymology: The species name "vestita" refers to the plants' vestments, its clothing of white hairs that turns into dens colonies what appears to be patches of snow remembering the high mountain peaks that surround - on all sides - the habitat of this plant

Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 10-11

Description: Austrocylindropuntia vestita It forms slim columns densely cloaked with thin long white hairs. Every one has it, grows and flowers well. It is usually a slender columnar white and very furry cactus from high altitude. The standard plants form branch both basally and near the top of the stems.

A. vestita f. cristata has unsegmented, undulating pads covered with fine white hair. The tube-like grows at the top of the cactus are modified leaves, which remain a good part of the year.

Growth Habits: shrubby cacti Not segmented stems, up to 20 inches long, 1.2 inches in diameter ( 3 cm ), persistent leaves, up to 1.2 inches long ( 3 cm ), hairy areoles, with Numerous fine spines

Stem: Cylindrical 2-3 cm in diameter covered densely with long white hairs. The stems can eventually grow to almost 60 cm tall

Spines: Few thin, up to 1 cm long and white. The plant has also abundant long, fine and rubbery hairs which completely cover the branches.

Flowers: A. vestita is not a reliable bloomer. When flowering finally occurs, the flowers will be a beautiful deep red or violet up to 2-2,5cm . The hairiness of the pericarpel is mostly as dense as that of the stems, merely the spination remains less. The flowers are developed always at the top of the stems.

Cultivation: This particular species needs regular watering when soil is dry during the growing seasonis but it is prone to root rot, so prudent watering is necessary. Keep dry in winter. It comes from high altitude and do not like hot, stuffy summers, it is best to put them in airy places with ample airflow. It requires a very drained and mineral potting mix and a full sun or slightly shady exposure. Protect from severe frost.

Frost Tolerance: Light frost only

Propagation Methods: Seeds are seldom available and extremely difficult to germinate. Best reproduced by cutting that produce roots easily. The crested variety, which is more delicate, multiplies more easily using grafting.

Other The genus Austrocylindropuntia comprises eleven species and was created by Curt Backeberg in 1938 for the cylindrical Opuntias of South-America. The cylindrical Opuntias of North-America was instead placed in the genus Cylindropuntia.
Austrocylindropuntia can easily be distinguished from Cylindropuntia: Cylindropuntia spines have papery sheaths, Austrocylindropuntia spines lack them. Austrocylindropuntia have cylindrical stems that grow indeterminately, not like many other Opuntias with stems that grow in a single season. Fresh stems have noticeable leaves that soon fall off. Austrocylindropuntias form low cushions or bushes up to 3 of 5 m. The seeds are different too.


Shrubby cactus stems not segmented, up to 20 inches long, 1.2 inches in diameter ( 3 cm ) persistent leaves, up to 1.2 inches long ( 3 cm ) hairy areoles with thin long white hairs. Beautiful bright red flowers

$4.00 New Price for Holidays only $3.40.

Scientific Name : Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeberg 1939

Common name(s): include: "Cotton Coral Cactus", "Cotton Pole", "Old Man Opuntia"

Conservastion Status: CITES Appendix II Listed Plant

Etymology: The species name "vestita" refers to the plants' vestments, its clothing of white hairs that turns into dens colonies what appears to be patches of snow remembering the high mountain peaks that surround - on all sides - the habitat of this plant

Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 10-11

Description: Austrocylindropuntia vestita It forms slim columns densely cloaked with thin long white hairs. Every one has it, grows and flowers well. It is usually a slender columnar white and very furry cactus from high altitude. The standard plants form branch both basally and near the top of the stems.

A. vestita f. cristata has unsegmented, undulating pads covered with fine white hair. The tube-like grows at the top of the cactus are modified leaves, which remain a good part of the year.

Growth Habits: shrubby cacti Not segmented stems, up to 20 inches long, 1.2 inches in diameter ( 3 cm ), persistent leaves, up to 1.2 inches long ( 3 cm ), hairy areoles, with Numerous fine spines

Stem: Cylindrical 2- 3 cm in diameter covered densely with long white hairs. The stems can eventually grow to almost 60 cm tall

Spines: Few thin, up to 1 cm long and white. The plant has also abundant long, fine and rubbery hairs which completely cover the branches.

Flowers: A. vestita is not a reliable bloomer. When flowering finally occurs, the flowers will be a beautiful deep red or violet up to 2-2,5 cm . The hairiness of the pericarpel is mostly as dense as that of the stems, merely the spination remains less. The flowers are developed always at the top of the stems.

Cultivation: This particular species needs regular watering when soil is dry during the growing seasonis but it is prone to root rot, so prudent watering is necessary. Keep dry in winter. It comes from high altitude and do not like hot, stuffy summers, it is best to put them in airy places with ample airflow. It requires a very drained and mineral potting mix and a full sun or slightly shady exposure. Protect from severe frost.

Fr ost Tolerance: Light frost only

Propagation Methods: Seeds are seldom available and extremely difficult to germinate . Best reproduced by cutting that produce roots easily. The crested variety, which is more delicate, multiplies more easily using grafting.

Other The genus Austrocylindropuntia comprises eleven species and was created by Curt Backeberg in 1938 for the cylindrical Opuntias of South-America. The cylindrical Opuntias of North-America was instead placed in the genus Cylindropuntia.
Austrocylindropuntia can easily be distinguished from Cylindropuntia: Cylindropuntia spines have papery sheaths, Austrocylindropuntia spines lack them. Austrocylindropuntia have cylindrical stems that grow indeterminately, not like many other Opuntias with stems that grow in a single season. Fresh stems have noticeable leaves that soon fall off. Austrocylindropuntias form low cushions or bushes up to 3 of 5 m. The seeds are different too.


Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Old Man Opuntia) - garden

Accepted Scientific Name: Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb.
Cactaceae (Berlin)

Origin and Habitat: Austrocylindropuntia vestita occurs in Argentina in Jujuy and Salta, and in Bolivia in Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, La Paz, Potosi and Tarija.
Altitude range: 2,400 and 3,600 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology: The species grows in high altitude grasslands on rocky soils. There are no major threats for this species. Austrocylindropuntia vestita is is widespread and abundant, and there are no major threats.

  • Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb.
    • Cylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
    • Opuntia heteromorpha Phil.
    • Opuntia vestita Salm-Dyck
    • Tephrocactus heteromorphus (Phil.) Backeb.

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb.
Cactaceae (Berlin)
Synonymy: 12

  • Austrocylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb.
    • Cylindropuntia vestita (Salm-Dyck) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
    • Opuntia heteromorpha Phil.
    • Opuntia vestita Salm-Dyck
    • Tephrocactus heteromorphus (Phil.) Backeb.
  • Austrocylindropuntia teres (Cels ex F.A.C.Weber) Backeb.
    • Cylindropuntia teres (Cels) Backeb. in Backeb. & F.M.Knuth
    • Opuntia teres Cels ex F.A.C.Weber
  • Austrocylindropuntia vestita var. chuquisacana (Cárdenas) Backeb.
    • Austrocylindropuntia chuquisacana (Cárdenas) F.Ritter
    • Opuntia chuquisacana Cárdenas
    • Opuntia vestita var. chuquisacana (Cárdenas) G.D.Rowley
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Austrocylindropuntia vestita f. cristata

Accepted name in llifle Database:
Austrocylindropuntia vestita var. intermedia Backeb.
Cactaceae (Backeberg) 6: 3581. 1962
Synonymy: 2

  • Austrocylindropuntia vestita var. intermedia Backeb.
    • Opuntia vestita f. intermedia (Backeb.) Krainz in Krainz
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Austrocylindropuntia vestita var. maior Backeb.
Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 23: 14. 1951
Synonymy: 3
  • Austrocylindropuntia vestita var. maior Backeb.
    • Opuntia vestita var. maior (Backeb.) Borg
    • Opuntia vestita f. maior (Backeb.) Krainz in Krainz

Description: Austrocylindropuntia vestita is usually a slender columnar white and very furry cactus from high altitude. The standard plants form branch both basally and near the top of the stems.
Derivation of specific name. The species name "vestita" refers to the plants' vestments, its clothing of white hairs that turns into dens colonies what appears to be patches of snow remembering the high mountain peaks that surround - on all sides - the habitat of this plant.
Stems: Cylindrical 2-3 cm in diameter covered densely with long white hairs. The stems can eventually grow to almost 60 cm tall.
Leaves: Thin subulate, caducous (but lasting from spring to autumn if the plant is kept regularly watered)
Spines: Few thin, up to 1 cm long and white. The plant has also abundant long, fine and rubbery hairs which completely cover the branches.
Flowers: A. vestita is not a reliable bloomer. When flowering finally occurs, the flowers will be a beautiful deep red or violet up to 2-2,5cm . The hairiness of the pericarpel is mostly as dense as that of the stems, merely the spination remains less. The flowers are developed always at the top of the stems.
Related species: A. vestita is closely related to Austrocylindropuntia shaferi but more cespitose, shorter and smaller, and with sterile fruit. Moreover the stems of A. vestita are completely covered with hairs with spines less than 15 mm long, while the stems of A. shaferi have some hairs only on the juvenile growth and spines 10-50 mm long.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Austrocylindropuntia shaferi / vestita group

Notes: The genus Austrocylindropuntia comprises eleven species and was created by Curt Backeberg in 1938 for the cylindrical Opuntias of South-America. The cylindrical Opuntias of North-America was instead placed in the genus Cylindropuntia. Austrocylindropuntia can easily be distinguished from Cylindropuntia: Cylindropuntia spines have papery sheaths, Austrocylindropuntia spines lack them. Austrocylindropuntia have cylindrical stems that grow indeterminately, not like many other Opuntias with stems that grow in a single season. Fresh stems have noticeable leaves that soon fall off. Austrocylindropuntias form low cushions or bushes up to 3 of 5m. The seeds are different too.

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Roberto Kiesling “The identity of Austrocylindropuntia weingartiana” The Cactus and Succulent Journal of Great Britain Volume 42(4): 109 -no (1980)
2) Kiesling, R., Lowry, M. & Ortega-Baes, P. 2013. Austrocylindropuntia vestita. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T152406A633352. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T152406A633352.en. Downloaded on 13 March 2016.
3) N. L. Britton, J. N. Rose: “The Cactaceae. Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family.” Vol I, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington 1919
4) David Hunt, Nigel Taylor “The New Cactus Lexicon” DH Books, 2006
5) Edward F. Anderson “The Cactus Family” Timber Press, 2001Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.


Opuntia vestita (Austrocylindropuntia vestita) Photo by: Cactus Art
Opuntia vestita (Austrocylindropuntia vestita) Photo by: Carolina González
Opuntia vestita (Austrocylindropuntia vestita) Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli

Send a photo of this plant.

The gallery now contains thousands of pictures, however it is possible to do even more. We are, of course, seeking photos of species not yet shown in the gallery but not only that, we are also looking for better pictures than those already present. Read More.

Cultivation and Propagation: This particular species needs regular watering when soil is dry during the growing seasonis but it is prone to root rot, so prudent watering is necessary. Keep dry in winter. I comes from high altitude and do not like hot, stuffy summers, it is best to put them in airy places with ample airflow. It requires a very drained and mineral potting mix and a full sun or slightly shady exposure. Protect from severe frost.
Propagation: Seeds are seldom available and extremely difficult to germinate. Best reproduced by cutting that produce roots easily. The crested variety, which is more delicate, multiplies more easily using grafting.


Watch the video: Old Man CactusOreocereus Trollii, a Furry Friend