Copiapoa cinerea

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Copiapoa cinerea
Copiapoa cinerea 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Copiapoa
C. cinerea
Binomial name
Copiapoa cinerea
(Britton & Rose, 1922

Copiapoa cinerea is a species of plant in the genus Copiapoa in the family Cactaceae. The epithet cinerea comes from the Latin word for ash, by reference to the colour of the epidermis.

It comes from the region of Antofagasta and the coastal zones of northern Chile. The area is very arid. However, there are dense fogs, due to cold streams of the Pacific Ocean. These fogs are frequent, in early morning or late afternoon at an altitude between 500 and 850 m (1,640 and 2,790 ft).

The ash-grey to white coloured epidermis contrasts with typically black spines and woolly crown when adult.


This cactus is globular, then columnar up to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, 20 cm (7.9 in) in diameter, with 30 ribs. Only old plants offset from the base.

The light coloration is a protection against desiccation. In culture, the epidermis is often greenish.

Flowers are yellow, with a diameter of 2.5 cm (0.98 in), at the top of the plants.

subsp. purpurea


Copiapoa cinerea is slow growing and hard to keep, because of the risk of rotting. Grafting is a solution. It rarely flowers in cultivation. Before all, it needs well drained soils. Sunny place, but protection against excessive sun in summer. In summer, it needs light and regular watering, but let the soil dry between two waterings. In winter, keep warm (no less than 8 °C) and absolutely dry.


An old Copiapoa cinerea
  • Echinocactus cinereus



  • Anderson, Edward F. (2001), The Cactus Family, Pentland, Oregon: Timber Press, ISBN 978-0-88192-498-5

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