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This beautiful plant was first described in 1950 by Alexander in the journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America, when he created the new genus Cryptocereus to accommodate it.

It had been discovered four years earlier by Tom MacDougall in Chiapas, Mexico. The first plant to flower in cultivation was in the care of Dr. Harold Anthony of New Jersey, after which it is named. In 1989, David Hunt transferred Cryptocereus anthonyanus to the genus Selenicereus even though its flowers are quite different from others in that genus.0716 Selenicereus anthonyanus

I got my plant from a friend, Chris Pugh. It had a thick succulent stem with deep indentations. The cutting rooted easily so I put it in a hanging pot in a shady place filled with rich organic acidic, compost and kept it well watered throughout the summer. It grew a number of new branches in the first year and I thought it was doing really well but, that autumn, as the weather cooled, parts of the branches turned yellow and started to die back. I keep my glasshouse at a minimum temperature of 10°C in the winter which may not be enough for a plant from tropical Mexico.

The following spring, 2014, I repotted it and hung it in a warmer place, higher up in the glasshouse. Again, it grew like crazy and in May produced four amazing flowers. Since then, perhaps because it is getting too much sun, the branches are looking rather yellow again so I think I shall have to put it in a shadier place.

Graham Charles

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