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CEREUS amazonicus

Image of Cereus amazonicus

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

CEREUS amazonicus

Plant Common Name

Cereus, Night-blooming Cactus

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Small white trumpet-shaped flowers grace the skinny, spined stems of Cereus amazonicus. It is native to the arid highlands in the upper Amazon River basin, in Bolivia and Peru.

This tree-like, coarse-branching cactus has starry clusters of short spines. There are no leaves, but the slender, upright green stems photosynthesize sunlight. Each has seven to nine vertical ribs. Its small white flowers are tubular, many petaled and night blooming, though they will remain open up until the early morning hours. They are fragrant and may be pollinated by bees and moths. They give way to small red, smooth-skinned fruits packed with sweet white flesh and tiny black, crunchy seeds. The fruit is edible and tastes like watermelon (if you can get to it before the birds and bats do).

This cactus is for hot, dry conditions but performs better if some irrigation occurs in the heat of summer. Keep the soil very dry in winter. It needs some protection from direct afternoon sun in the low desert, but its fruits grow sweetest in extreme heat. Do not plant outdoors in regions that receive hard frosts in winter. Grow it as a stark, architecturally interesting accent in a spacious rockery or desert xeriscape garden. When small, grow it as a containerized houseplant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    10'-16' / 3.0m - 4.9m

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Bark Color

    Green, Olive

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Semi-Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No