From the Greek chamai, ground, and cereus; the prostrate cereus (Cactaceae). Peanut cactus. This is a very popular cactus especially with beginners. There is one species only, with two or three varieties. This is C. siluestrii, of low prostrate growth, very spreading, with many stems. These are about little finger size and covered with small spines. The, produced from May to July, are funnel-shaped, 2 inches long, bright red; vars. cristata, a cristate form; elongata, thinner stems, western Argentine.
A good porous should be provided; this can be made up from a regular potting compost, plus a sixth part of sharp, coarse sand. Grow in a sunny position. This plant is very liable to become infested with red spider mite and a spraying with rain water every week helps to keep this pest at bay. Normal summer temperature is adequate but it should not fall below 40 °F (4°C), in winter. Water when soil dries out in spring and summer, gradually reducing watering in autumn. Keep quite dry in winter. The plant is easily increased by cuttings, which can be broken from the main plant and dried in the sun for a few days. Insert base in sharp sand and spray occasionally; pot up when roots are formed. Plants can be raised from seed but as it is so easy to increase by cuttings, seed sowing is hardly worthwhile.