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Cephalocereus senilis

Cephalocereus senilis (Haworth) Pfeiffer 1838

Cactus senilis Haworth 1824

Cereus senilis (Haworth) A. P. de Candolle 1828

Pilocereus senilis (Haworth) Lamaire 1839

Bunny Cactus, Old Man Cactus, Old Man of Mexico, Veijo, White Persian Cat Cactus

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyCactaceaeSucculent (water-storing) plants, often spiny
GenusCephalocereusFrom Greek kephale, “head,” and cereus, “waxy” (unconfirmed)
Speciessenilis“Old,” for the white hairs

About plant names...

These cacti are natives of the Mexican states of Hidalgo and Guanajuato.

Identification: Forming tall columns up to 49' (15 m) high, and branching only at the base, these cacti make an imposing statement. Columns contain 20-30 ribs, and are up to 12" (30 cm) in diameter. Fine white spines in groups of 20-30, are 2-4½" (6-12 cm) long. In addition, pseudocephalia resembling very fine dense white hair appears initially on one side, then covering the entire top of each column—hence the name “old man cactus.” (There is another old man cactus too though.) Funnel-shaped flowers 2½-3½" (7-9 cm) around are pink, tinged with yellow. Fruits are roughly oval, ⅞-1" (2.5-3 cm) around.

References:

Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 140

Online References:

Cephalocereus senilis on Desert-tropicals.com

Cephalocereus senilis at the University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Plant Growth Facilities

Cephalocereus senilis on CactiGuide.com

Cephalocereus senilis on Dr. Giuseppe Mazza's PhotoMazza.com site

Cephalocereus senilis on Wikimedia Commons

Cephalocereus senilis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Cephalocereus senilis (Bunny Cactus, Old Man Cactus, Old Man of Mexico, Veijo, White Persian Cat Cactus)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Cephalocereus senilis (Bunny Cactus, Old Man Cactus, Old Man of Mexico, Veijo, White Persian Cat Cactus)

10/2/2016 · Islands in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico · By Constance B. Kent

Range:

About this map...