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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Cactoideae
Tribus: Cereeae
Subtribus: Trichocereinae
Genus: Cleistocactus
Species: C. ayopayanus – C. baumannii – C. brookeae – C. buchtieniiC. candelilla – C. capadalensis – C. chrysocephalus – C. hildegardiae – C. hyalacanthus – C. laniceps – C. luribayensis – C. morawetzianus – C. orthogonus – C. parviflorus – C. piraymirensis – C. pungens – C. reae – C. ritteri – C. samaipatanus – C. smaragdiflorus – C. straussi – C. tominensis – C. winteri

Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Cleistocactus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Apr 17. Reference page.


Cleistocactus Lem., Ill. Hort. 8: Misc. 35. 1861.
Type species: Cleistocactus baumannii (Lem.) Lem.


Cleistocereus Frič & Kreuz., Succulenta, 18: 120. 1936, nom. illeg.
Echinopsis sect. Cleistocactus (Lem.) Molinari, Succulentopi@ 14: 11. 2015.

Akersia Buining, Succulenta (Netherlands) 1961: 25. 1961.
Bolivicereus Cárdenas, Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 23(3): 91. 1951.
Borzicactus subg. Bolivicereus (Cárdenas) Buxb., Kakteen. 55-56: CVb. 1973.
Borzicactella Johnson ex F.Ritter, Kakteen Südamerika 4: 1385. 1981.
Borzicactus Riccob., Boll. Ort. Bot. Palermo, 8: 261. 1909.
Clistanthocereus Backeb., Cactaceae (Berlin) 1937(1): Blatt 24. 1937, in adnot.
× Cleistoborzicactus G.D.Rowley, Nation. Cact. Succ. J. (U.K.), 37(2): 48. 1982.
Hildewintera F.Ritter ex G.D.Rowley, Regnum Veg. 54: 15. 1968 (Repert. Pl. Succ. XVII), nom. illeg. & nom. superfl.
Loxanthocereus Backeb., Cactaceae (Berlin) 1937(1): Blatt 24. 1937, in adnot.
Loxanthocereus subg. Hildewintera (F.Ritter) Buxb., Kakteen, 57: CVc. 1974, nom. illeg.
Maritimocereus Akers & Buining, Succulenta, 1950: 49. 1950.
Seticereus Backeb., Kakteen Sukk. 1937: 37. 1937.
Seticleistocactus Backeb., Descr. Cact. Nov. 3: 13. 1963.
Winteria F.Ritter, Kakt. & Sukkulent. 13: 4. 1962, nom. illeg.
Winterocereus Backeb., 1966.


× Cleipaticereus G.D.Rowley
× Cleistocana G.D.Rowley
× Cleistonocereus G.D.Rowley
× Cleistoparodia A.Wessner
× Cleistopsis Strigl
× Cleistoza G.D.Rowley
× Espostocactus Mottram

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Southern America
Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Bolivia, Brazil West-Central, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
Introduced into:
Canary Is.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Primary references

Lemaire, C. 1861. L’illustration horticole, journal spécial des serres et des jardins, ou choix raisonné des plantes les plus intéressantes sous le rapport ornemental, comprenant leur histoire complète... Vol. 8. 82 pp. 269-309 pl. Gand [Ghent]. BHL Reference page. : 8: Misc. 35.

Additional references

Lowry, M. (2016). A synopsis of the genus Cleistocactus Lemaire (Cactaceae) Bradleya. Yearbook of the British Cactus and Succulent Society 34: 148-186.
Anderson, E.F. 2001. The Cactus Family. (Timber Press) ISBN 0-88192-498-9
Govaerts, R. 1999. World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b). 1532 pp.. MIM, Deurne. ISBN 90-5720-098-8 (issue 1), ISBN 90-5720-099-6 (issue 2b). Reference page.
Korotkova, N., Aquino, D., Arias, S., Eggli, U., Franck, A. , Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guerrero, P.C., Hernández, H.M., Kohlbecker, A., Köhler, M., Luther, K., Majure, L.C., Müller, A., Metzing, D., Nyffeler, R., Sánchez, D., Schlumpberger, B. & Berendsohn, W.G. 2021. Cactaceae at Caryophyllales. org–a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. Willdenowia 51(2): 251–270. DOI: 10.3372/wi.51.51208 Open access Reference page.


Korotkova, N. et al. 2021. Cleistocactus in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 06. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Cleistocactus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Apr 17. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Cleistocactus. Published online. Accessed: Apr 17 2021. 2021. Cleistocactus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Apr 17.
Hassler, M. 2021. Cleistocactus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Apr 17. Reference page.

Vernacular names
suomi: Hopeapylväät
lietuvių: Slėpulis
polski: Kleistokaktus
slovenčina: Kleistokaktus
svenska: Rörkaktussläktet

Cleistocactus is a genus of flowering plants in the cactus family Cactaceae, native to mountainous areas - to 3,000 m (9,843 ft)[1] - of South America (Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina). The name comes from the Greek kleistos meaning closed because the flowers hardly open.

The stems of these cacti are tall, mostly slender and often many-branched with numerous ribs with closely set areoles and spines. The flowers are tubular and the tips hardly open with only the style and stamens usually protruding.

Species and subspecies

  • Cleistocactus acanthurus (Vaupel) D.R.Hunt
    • Cleistocactus acanthurus subsp. acanthurus
    • Cleistocactus acanthurus subsp. faustianus (Backeb.) Ostolaza
    • Cleistocactus acanthurus subsp. pullatus (Rauh & Backeb.) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus baumannii (Lem.) Lem.
    • Cleistocactus baumannii subsp. anguinus (Gürke) P.J.Braun & Esteves
    • Cleistocactus baumannii subsp. baumannii
    • Cleistocactus baumannii subsp. chacoanus (F.Ritter) P.J.Braun & Esteves
    • Cleistocactus baumannii subsp. croceiflorus (F.Ritter) P.J.Braun & Esteves
    • Cleistocactus baumannii subsp. horstii (P.J.Braun) N.P.Taylor
    • Cleistocactus baumannii subsp. santacruzensis (Backeb.) Mottram
  • Cleistocactus brookeae Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus buchtienii Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus candelilla Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus chotaensis F.A.C.Weber ex Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus clavispinus (Rauh & Backeb.) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus colademononis (Diers & Krahn) Mottram [2]
  • Cleistocactus × crassiserpens Rauh & Backeb.
    eine natürliche Hybride von Cleistocactus icosagonus und Cleistocactus serpens.
  • Cleistocactus dependens Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus erectispinus (Rauh & Backeb.) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus ferrarii R.Kiesling
  • Cleistocactus fieldianus (Britton & Rose) D.R.Hunt
    • Cleistocactus fieldianus subsp. fieldianus
    • Cleistocactus fieldianus subsp. samnensis (F.Ritter) Ostolaza
    • Cleistocactus fieldianus subsp. tessellatus (Akers & Buining) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus granditessellatus (Rauh & Backeb.) Leuenb.
  • Cleistocactus grossei Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus hildegardiae F.Ritter
  • Cleistocactus hyalacanthus (K.Schum.) Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus hystrix (Rauh & Backeb.) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus icosagonus (Kunth) F.A.C.Weber ex Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus laniceps (K.Schum.) Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus leonensis Madsen
  • Cleistocactus longiserpens Leuenb.
  • Cleistocactus luribayensis Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus micropetalus F.Ritter
  • Cleistocactus morawetzianus Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus muyurinensis F.Ritter
  • Cleistocactus orthogonus Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus pachycladus (Rauh & Backeb.) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus palhuayensis F.Ritter & Shahori
  • Cleistocactus paraguarensis F.Ritter
  • Cleistocactus parapetiensis Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus parviflorus (K.Schum.) Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus peculiaris (Rauh & Backeb.) Ostolaza
  • Cleistocactus piraymirensis Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus plagiostoma (Vaupel) D.R.Hunt
  • Cleistocactus pungens F.Ritter
  • Cleistocactus reae Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus ritteri Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus roezlii (Haage ex K.Schum.) Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus roseiflorus (Buining) G.D.Rowley
  • Cleistocactus samaipatanus (Cárdenas) D.R.Hunt
  • Cleistocactus sepium (Kunth) F.A.C.Weber ex Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus serpens (Kunth) F.A.C.Weber ex Rol.-Goss.
  • Cleistocactus sextonianus (Backeb.) D.R.Hunt
  • Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose
  • Cleistocactus strausii (Heese) Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus sulcifer (Rauh & Backeb.) Leuenb.
  • Cleistocactus tarijensis Cárdenas
  • Cleistocactus tenuiserpens Rauh & Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus tominensis (Weing.) Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus tupizensis (Vaupel) Backeb.
  • Cleistocactus variispinus F.Ritter
  • Cleistocactus vulpis-cauda F.Ritter & Cullmann
  • Cleistocactus winteri D.R.Hunt
  • Cleistocactus xylorhizus (F.Ritter) Ostolaza


The following genera have been brought into synonymy with this genus:

Akersia Buining
Bolivicereus Cárdenas
Borzicactella H.Johnson ex F.Ritter
Borzicactus Riccob
Borzicereus Fric & Kreuz. (orth. var.)
Cephalocleistocactus F.Ritter
Cleistocereus Fric & Kreuz. (orth. var.)
Clistanthocereus Backeb.
Demnosa Fric
Gymnanthocereus Backeb.
Hildewintera F.Ritter
Loxanthocereus Backeb.
Maritimocereus Akers
Pseudoechinocereus Buining (nom. inval.)
Seticereus Backeb.
Seticleistocactus Backeb.
Winteria F.Ritter
Winterocereus Backeb.

Cleistocactus strausii

Cleistocactus micropetalus F. Ritter, photo taken at Bedugul Botanical Garden, Bali,, Indonesia


RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.

CactusWorld. Band 24, Nummer 1, S. 21.

Innes C, Wall B (1995). Cacti, Succulents and Bromaliads. Cassell & The Royal Horticultural Society.
The species list is referenced from which is in turn referenced from several books which are listed on that site. The principal book listed here is The Cactus Family by Edward F. Anderson.

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