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STENOCEREUS beneckei

Image of Stenocereus beneckei

James H. Schutte

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

STENOCEREUS beneckei

Plant Common Name

Benecke's Stenocereus

Special Notice

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

General Description

Consider this a columnar cactus that prefers to semi-recline rather than stand up straight like its close relatives. In fact, it has been known to create beautiful natural arches. This is a native of Mexico, distributed in the states of Guerrero, Morelos and Mexico, where it is found on rocky hillsides beneath shelter of rugged trees and shrubs. Here water rarely stands long after infrequent rains. This species bears long, flexible stems, light green to slightly grayish, bearing 7 to 9 ribs. Large, very distinct tubercles occur along the ridges, where spines rise out of the areoles. Each bears a single central spine that is thick and stout, usually black surrounded by 2 to 5 gray radials which may slightly interlace at their tips for considerable armor.

This is a night blooming species that flowers in the depths of winter. Brown flower buds form at the newer areoles, opening into pure white finger -long cup-shaped blooms with a central cluster of bright yellow stamens. These may be moth or bat pollinated, but remain open well into the following day to catch a second group of pollinators such as morning desert bees. The fruits that follow are oval, turning from green to red at maturity. These are relished by birds at winter’s end when little other food is available. Naturally the birds aid in seed distribution. Due to its origin in semishaded conditions, this makes a good candidate for container cactus gardens indoors and out. It is quite widely adaptable to mild climates as an outdoor landscape plant beneath desert tree canopies.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No