Espotoa lanata, Old Man of Peru


Espostoa lanata is a species of cactus from Peru and is a columnar, densely hairy cactus, covered by a warm, woolly coat and well adapted to high altitudes.  Its common name is Peruvian Old Man cactus.  It can grow to 9 feet in cultivation.  It is different from the Mexican Old Man cactus, Cephalocereus senilis, in that it has prominent spines.   Some scientists say the wooly coat not only protects the plant against cold, it also protects the cactus from high ultraviolet light.

This plant comes in a 4″ pot. You will receive a cactus similar to the one in the picture. It might be blooming at the time of your purchase. The plant is shipped in its pot to prevent root damage.

Minimum avg. temperature: 50°F but hardy to 30°F
Sun exposure: Full sun, partial shade in Summer
Origin: Peru, the Andes
Growth habits: 3 to 9 feet in cultivation
Watering needs: Little or no water once established, but always dry out soil before watering.
Propagation: Seeds



Great cactus for pots or xeriscaping.  It’s so fuzzy that you may want to hug it but watch out.


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