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CEREUS stenogonus

Image of Cereus stenogonus

James H. Schutte

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

CEREUS stenogonus

Plant Common Name

Candelabra Tuna Cactus, Night-blooming Cactus, Rose Cereus

Special Notice

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

General Description

Nine-inch-long (22 cm), rosy pink, trumpet-shaped flowers grace the skinny, upright stems on Cereus stenogonus. This succulent cactus is native to the arid Chaco highlands of Paraguay and northern Argentina. It develops a thicket of vertical, slender stems, much like a cluster of pipes or flagpoles.

This tree-like cactus has two to three spines in clusters on the four or five ribbed stems. There are no leaves, but the slender, upright pale to blue-green stems photosynthesize sunlight. Its large pale pink and deep rose 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 egg-shaped, 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 freezes 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 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 14

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 13, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    14'-26' / 4.3m - 7.9m

  • Width

    6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    South America, Argentina

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

    Light Pink, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Bark Color

    Light Green, Olive, Steel Blue

  • 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