Cereus 'Fairy Castle'

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cereus (KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus
Cultivar: Fairy Castle
Additional cultivar information:(aka Floridanus, Florida)


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


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

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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 softwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Maricopa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Hayward, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California

Brooksville, Florida

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Albuquerque, New Mexico

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 14, 2016, QTPIinLA from Maricopa, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have had this plant about 4 years. It's been in the ground about that long, too. Tolerates extreme heat (>110 degrees all summer). Tolerates freezing temps (I get light frosts every winter) and even did well when we got to 18 degrees F for several nights in a row 2 or 3 years ago. It gets filtered sunlight... it's planted under a lemon tree that has grown to allow more shade. The plant is about 2-3 feet tall and very healthy. I have not experienced any of the problems the other posters wrote about. I have never had any blooms from this cactus. Does it bloom at all?


On Jul 13, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Seem to be rather common in the succulent part of the box retail stores.
Additional information - they are very susceptible to a disease that often cause their tops to rot, spreading to the rest of the plant.


On Mar 1, 2009, FuegerJ from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

A very interesting cactus. Mine likes filtered light. The mature arms start to turn red or tan when subjected to direct sunlight for a day's duration.


On Oct 7, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

A very positive experience.One of the first cacti i ever bought and still have it 25 or so years later. Always in a pot but it could be ground safe. Likes to be consistently fertilized during the growing season.The only caveats is that snails and slugs will ruin it muy pronto. Indoors watch for mealys. A tough little plant.
2012: wow,Seven years since I wrote that..and only today has it gone in the ground. And it is true-they are susceptible to a rotting virus...mine has lost much of its deep green color,and few new branches. Planting it out is a last resort. It is a mealy magnet..so no doubt they spread the illness.
I have strong hopes that with roots in Ma Earth,the Castle will rise again!


On May 25, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This was for the longest time thought to be a Monstrose or Dwarf form of Acanthocereus tetragonus in the horticultural world until one day it was discovered (by me) a new generation from the parent plant which is Cereus hildmannianus ssp. uruguayanus. You can see the proof in this thread here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1031261/
I quickly did a trade with dixiegril to have my own specimen of the Dwarf form, and these photos here are photos of that specimen.
The'Type' of spines are not even the same 'Type' of spines of Acanthocereus tetragonus which you can compare with this photo here: http://davesgarden.c... read more


On May 24, 2005, Clare_CA from Ventura,
United States (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is a very interesting little plant. Here is a good description given by The Cactus Collection/Altman Plants:

"Cereus tetragonus cv. 'Fairy Castle' is charming miniature form of Cereus tetragonus. The type species, native to Brazil, is a branching green columnar cactus to 6' in height. A cultivar occurs when an environmental or other factor causes changes in a plant. A cultivar is not a hybrid, it is rather a change in the DNA of the cells of one unique plant. The diminutive cultivar 'Fairy Castle' was discovered in cultivation, and will grow slowly to several feet in height. The main stem is five sided, with short spines along the ribs, and offsets profusely to form smaller upright branches which, in turn, offset profusely with smaller offsets. Overall effect is of a "... read more