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STENOCEREUS kerberi

Image of Stenocereus kerberi

James H. Schutte

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

STENOCEREUS kerberi

Plant Common Name

Sina

Special Notice

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

General Description

This group of widely ranging cacti includes about 25 species. They are native to Arizona, Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Venezuela and the West Indies. The genus name is derived from the Greek word stenos, which means narrow and refers to the narrow width of the ribs along the stems.

Stenocereus is primarily columnar in form, but some have creeping stems and others are slightly shrubby and even tree-like. Each stout, cylindrical green stem has numerous ribs. Species in this genus have wooly tubercles, protuberant modified leaf bases that support strong, stout spines.

Bloom time is species dependent, but all Stenocereus are nocturnal bloomers pollinated by moths, bats and other night fliers. The flowers are funnel-shaped white or yellow and have fine, bristly spines. Pollinated blooms mature into spiny red fruits that are relished by birds. The seeds within are large, black and shiny.

The most well known of this genus is the signature plant of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona, Stenocereus thurberi. The lesser known creeping devil of Baja California, Stenocereus eruca is famous for its procumbent stems wrapped in dense spines, and the large fruited cactus, Stenocereus gummosus, produces large, red, spiny fruits known as pitaya, which are harvested by the Seri tribe of Mexico Due to their size, these cacti are most often grown outdoors in desert gardens. They are not substantially cold hardy and grow best in low deserts or dry inland valleys where summers are hot and rainless. Sandy, gravelly soils are preferred though they can grow well in fractured subsoils, provided they drain well.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Native To

    North America, Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • 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

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No