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A picture of a Old Mans Beard Cactus

Old Mans Beard Cactus

Cephalocereus senilis

Also known as

Old-Man Cactus, Old Man's Head, Bunny Cactus, Old Man Of Mexico, White Persian-Cat Cactus

Cephalocereus senilis 9 by Montgomery (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








20 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Old Mans Beard Cactus

A photo of Old Mans Beard Cactus
A photo of Old Mans Beard Cactus

Old Mans Beard Cactus Overview

Cephalocereus senilis is a cactus plant commonly known as Old Man Cactus or Old Mans Beard Cactus, after the shaggy coating of long silvery-white hairs all over the plant surface. This is said to resemble unkept grey hair on an elderly gentleman and, with age, plants tend to lose this covering. These hairs are actually modified spines, an adaptation to protect the plant from adverse weather conditions such as harsh sunlight or frost. It is a columnar, clump-forming perennial cactus from the Cactaceae family. Old Mans Beard grows on average 5–15m, over a long time, it is usually unbranched and blue-green in colour. This species produces large, nocturnal pink flowers, but it may take up to 20 years before a plant reaches flowering maturity.

Common problems with Old Mans Beard Cactus

How to propagate Old Mans Beard Cactus


Special features of Old Mans Beard Cactus

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Old Mans Beard Cactus

Ornamental, container, indoors, greenhouse