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A picture of a Old-Man Cactus

Old-Man Cactus

Cephalocereus senilis

Also known as

Old Man's Head

Cephalocereus senilis 9 by Montgomery (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Tender

12b

USDA zone

13°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

15m

Max

2m

5m

Min

50cm

20 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis) (3103276447)
Cephalocereus senilis (1)

Overview

Cephalocereus senilis is a cactus plant commonly known as Old Man Cactus or Old Mans Beard Cactus, after the shaggy coating of long silvery-white hairs all over the plant surface. This is said to resemble unkept grey hair on an elderly gentleman and, with age, plants tend to lose this covering. These hairs are actually modified spines, an adaptation to protect the plant from adverse weather conditions such as harsh sunlight or frost. It is a columnar, clump-forming perennial cactus from the Cactaceae family. Old Mans Beard grows on average 5–15m, over a long time, it is usually unbranched and blue-green in colour. This species produces large, nocturnal pink flowers, but it may take up to 20 years before a plant reaches flowering maturity.

Common problems

Propagation

Seed

Special Features

Attractive leaves