|The thick, ribbed stems of these shrubby or tree-sized Cacti branch from the base. Some bristle with spines. Others, like the towering Stenocereus marginatus, drop their spines as they grow. Small, round edible fruits follow the funnel-shaped flowers. The widely varied species offer features to be used, dreaded, or savored. Natives of northern Mexico stun and fish by tossing crushed stems of Stenocereus gummosus into a stream or lake, where they release a toxic sap. Stenocereus eruca's spiny limbs snake along the ground and pierce the feet of unwary animals or people, inspiring its name, Creeping Devil. The pitaya fruits of Stenocereus gummosus and Stenocereus queretaroensis rival those of Kiwi or Lychee. Most do fine with full sun, but some species need a little shade. Plant in a gritty, well-drained soil. Water moderately in summer, sparely in winter. Most need minimum temperatures of 50º to 55º F.
Only Saguaros grow taller than these desert giants, aptly called Organ Pipes. Pale flowers bloom at night. The red fruits lose spines as they ripen. Native Americans ate them fresh, preserved, or in a fermented drink.
Attributes - Stenocereus thurberi
Plant Type: Succulent
Bloom Season: Late Spring through Mid Summer
Flower Color: Pink, Purple
Height: 6 ft. to 21 ft.
Width: 20 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Climate: Zones 9, 10, 11
Notes: Thrives in Dry Climates, Hot Climates. Container Plants, Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance.