Copiapoa Britton & Rose (1922)

named after the occurrence of some species nearby the city of Copiapó, Chile
globular, later often columnar, clumping and forms large mounds
gray to green in various shades
ribs in different amount, usually only very slight
spines various also in amount, lenght and color
flowers short tubular, some fragrant, yellow to light yellow, it is a good identifying feature for this genus
fruits globular, opened at the top if they ripened
seeds usually shiny black

Highslide JS


north to central Chile
Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo
steppes and mountains

Growth period

Copiapoa is usually not easy to cultivate!
at the northern hemisphere is the main growth period in late summer and fall,
therefor in summer keep in sparse shade and relatively dry

Winter period

keep dry on a bright and airy location, minimum temperature 8–12°C (46–53°F)
species out of mountains also at colder temperatures


very porous, minerally and gravelly soil
a addition of pumice, perlite and expanded slate is recommandable
Copiapoa alticostata F. Ritter (1963)
Highslide JS
  Highslide JS   Highslide JS


Atacama/Coquimbo - Huasco to southern of Fray Jorge
inland in the valleys of Elqui and Choros


tall ribs Copiapoa
young globular, green, later 20–40 cm (7.8–15.7 in) tall, gray green, forms clumps
ribs tall
areoles 0,8–1,3 cm (0.3–0.5 in) Ø
spines strong, dark brown, graying

to 4 central spines
fruits green


Copiapoa coquimbana var. alticostata (F. Ritter) A. E. Hoffmann (1989)
Copiapoa coquimbana
(Karwinsky ex Ruempler) Britton & Rose (1922)


Appendix II
Description of "Kakteen von A bis Z" by Walter Haage with courtesy by Kakteen-Haage made available.
Pictures with courtesy of the Botanical Garden of the University of Heidelberg, Germany made available.