Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Brain Cactus
Stenocactus multicostatus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stenocactus (sten-oh-KAK-tus) (Info)
Species: multicostatus (mul-tee-koh-STAY-tus) (Info)

Synonym:Echinofossulocactus erectocentrus
Synonym:Echinocactus multicostatus
Synonym:Echinofossulocactus multicostatus
Synonym:Efossus multicostatus
Synonym:Brittonrosea multicostatus

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Summer/Early Fall

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #1 of Stenocactus multicostatus by Xenomorf

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #2 of Stenocactus multicostatus by Todd_Boland

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Stenocactus multicostatus by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #4 of Stenocactus multicostatus by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #5 of Stenocactus multicostatus by Xenomorf

Thumbnail #6 of Stenocactus multicostatus by ALTER_EGO

By cactus_lover
Thumbnail #7 of Stenocactus multicostatus by cactus_lover

There are a total of 12 photos.
Click here to view them all!


No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Dynasty21 On Nov 22, 2009, Dynasty21 from Boston, MA wrote:

I have a question about my Brain Cactus. My cactus is potted; it's close to 4 feet tall and it just toppled over and broke off several "branches." Is it possible to use these broken pieces to create new plants? H-E-L-P!

Neutral Xenomorf On Apr 17, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

The blooms are white with a purplish-violet midvien.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Green Valley, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Lompoc, California
Mission Viejo, California
Portland, Texas

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