Synonyms: Weberbauerocereus johnsonii, Haageocereus winterianus
Common Names: Golden torch cactus
Geographic Origin: The Weberbauerocereus genus is native to rocky reliefs on the north-facing slopes of high valleys, occupying Bolivia and Peru at elevations of 540-3500 m. Specifically, W. winterianus originates from the Department of Cajamarca, Peru.
Description: The golden torch cactus is a narrow, columnar cactus that reaches about 12 – 18 feet in height, scarcely exceeding 7 – 9 inches in diameter. Older branches will develop on mature plants taller than 6 feet, although plants will occasionally remain solitary. The stems are covered in a dense mat of golden hairs, as well as numerous dark golden central and radial spines. Showy, tubular white flowers will bloom during the night, but remain open the next morning, being followed by small, orange to greenish, hairy fruits with white pulp.
Cultivation and Care:
- Watering: Low
- Lighting: Site W. winterianus in full sunlight, but protect from overly hot days.
- Cold tolerance: 35-40°F, USDA hardiness zones 10b-11
- Special Accommodations: W. winterianus is slow growing, and may take a long time to establish. Mature plants will tolerate temperatures down to 25°F, but only for short periods. Lastly, always wear heavy gloves when handling and do not site near walkways, to avoid damage by the sharp spines.