Cereus peruvianus f. monstrosa | ‘Kayush’, ‘Peruvian Apple Cactus’ | 25 seeds
Cereus peruvianus (syn. Cereus repandus) is a large and thorny columnar cactus species from South America. This listing is for organically-raised seed of the extremely eye-catching (and much sought-after) monstrose form, Cereus peruvianus f. monstrosa. Not to be confused with the unrelated Trichocereus peruvianus, which it’s occasionally sold as by unscrupulous/clueless vendors!
Often grown as an ornamental in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11, the species in all its forms is known variously as the ‘Cadushi’, ‘Giant Club Cactus’, ‘Hedge Cactus’ and ‘Kayush’ – but most often as the ‘Peruvian Apple Cactus’. Generally growing as an erect, tree-like plant, Cereus peruvianus in cultivation or its natural habitat reaches up to ten metres or so in height, forming grey-green-blue cylindrical stems up to twenty centimetres in diameter and whitish-cream, nocturnal-blooming flowers.
Notwithstanding the measurements noted in the previous sentence, peruvianus is technically the tallest cactus species in the world… In experiments at – fittingly! – India’s SDM College of Dental Sciences, the species grew to an impressive height of thirty four metres (albeit supported by a scaffold)! This world record only stands should artificial support be allowed. If not, the ‘natural’ cactus height record would be a (still-impressive) twenty five metres (Cereus stenogonus).
Cereus peruvianus is traditionally used as a food source (for its sweet, spineless, violet-red-yellow fruits – the ‘Peruvian Apple’ of the species informal name) and as a construction material (its inner wood is used to make wattle and daub structures).
As with many other cactus species, it’s quite easy to grow this from seed – it just needs sun and minimal watering (don’t overdo it or your beautiful plant will rot away!), in a mildly alkaline to mildly acidic soil. Every cactus collection deserves one of these beauties!
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly & ethically sourced in 2018