Espostoa lanata x Cleistocactus strausii
This is a very interesting and attractive hybrid which has been in our collection for 15+ years. It is a single stem around one metre (3 foot) tall and superficially resembles a thickish Cleistocactus strausii. It has produced flowers every year for the last five to six years and more recently in producing them in larger numbers. The flowering area produces additional wool and bristles somewhat similar to Neobinghamia (the Haageocereus Espostoa cross). There are now signs of these areas tending to concentrate in a vertical structure almost like an Espostoa cephalium although it is not apparently sunk into the body - at least at present. The flowers have fortunately inherited many of the best qualities of both parents, the carmine colour from the Cleistocactus and the more open form of the Espostoa flower. They are around 8cm long and 4 cm across. The opening pattern is fascinating, they regularly first open up in the evening around 8pm and remain open for two nights. During the day following the first open night the petals close slightly before widening again on the second evening. The photograph was taken around 9.00am after the first night's opening.
Copyright Tony mace, no reproduction without permission of the author.