Fine Art

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Cactoideae
Tribus: Echinocereeae
Genus: Stenocereus
Species: S. alamosensis – S. beneckei – S. chacalapensis – S. chrysocarpus – S. eruca – S. fricii – S. griseus – S. gummosus – S. heptagonus – S. huastecorum – S. humilis – S. kerberi – S. laevigatus – S. martinezii – S. montanus – S. pruinosus – S. queretaroensis – S. quevedonis – S. standleyi – S. stellatus – S. thurberi – S. treleasei – S. yunckeri – S. zopilotensis
Source(s) of checklist:

Stenocereus (A.Berger) Riccob. (1909), nom. cons.

Type species: S. stellatus (Pfeiff.) Riccob.


Cereus subg. Stenocereus A.Berger, Rep. (Annual) Missouri Bot. Gard. 16: 66. 1905.

Cereus [infragen.unranked] Pruinosi Salm-Dyck, Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849: 48. 1850.
Cereus ser. Pruinosi (Salm-Dyck) K.Schum., Gesamtbeschr. Kakt. 1: 52. 1897, nom. inval.
Rathbunia sect. Horakia P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 104. 1992, nom. inval.
Type species: non design.
Cereus ser. Chlorotini K. Schum.
Rathbunia sect. Gibsonia P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 103. 1992, nom. nov.
Cereus ser. Stellati K. Schum.
Rathbunia sect. Stenocladia P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 102. 1992.
Cereus ser. Prostrati K. Schum.
Griseocereus (P.V.Heath) P.V.Heath, Calyx 6(1): 1. 1998, nom. inval.
Stenocereus subg. Griseocereus P.V.Heath, Calyx, 5(3): 101. 1996, nom. inval.
Hertrichocereus Backeb., Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 22: 153. 1950.
Stenocereus subg. Hertrichocereus (Backeb.) P.V.Heath, Calyx, 5(3): 100: 1996.
Rathbunia sect. Hertrichia P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 103. 1992, nom. nov.
Lemaireocereus Britton & Rose, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 12: 424. 1909.
Machaerocereus Britton & Rose, Cact. 2: 114. 1920.
Stenocereus subg. Machaerocereus (Britton & Rose) P.V.Heath, Calyx, 5(3): 100: 1996.
Rathbunia sect. Eruca P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 102. 1992, nom. nov.
Type species: M. eruca (Brandegee) Britton & Rose
Marshallocereus Backeb., Cact. Succ. J. (Los Angeles) 22: 154. 1950.
Type species: M. aragonii (F.A.C.Weber) Backeb.
Neogriseocereus Guiggi, Cactology 3(Suppl. 4): 1. 2013.
Griseocereus Guiggi, Cactology 3: 7. 2012.
Griseocactus Guiggi, Cactology 3(Suppl.): 1. 2012, nom. inval.
Type species: N. fimbriatus (Lamarck) Guiggi.
Neolemaireocereus Backeb., Cactaceae (Berlin) 1941(2): 76. 1942.
Type species: N. thurberi (Engelm.) Backeb.
Rathbunia Britton & Rose, Contr. U. S. Natl. Herb. 12: 414. 1909, nom. rej.
Type species: R. sonorensis (Runge) Britton & Rose
Rathbunia nothosect. Dumorakia P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 105. 1992, nom. inval.
Rathbunia nothosect. Gibsobunia P.V.Heath, Calyx 2(3): 105. 1992.
Ritterocereus Backeb., Cactaceae (Berlin) 1941, pt. 2: 76. 1942.
Stenocereus subg. Ritterocereus P.V.Heath, Calyx, 5(3): 101. 1996.
Stenocereus nothosubg. Grisolatocereus P.V.Heath, Calyx 5(3): 101. 1996.
× Grisolatocereus P.V.Heath, Calyx 6(1): 1. 1998.
Stenocereus nothosubg. Rittellicereus P.V.Heath, Calyx 5(3): 101. 1996.
× Rittellicereus (P.V.Heath) P.V.Heath, Calyx 6(1): 1. 1998.
Stenocereus subg. Nigellicereus P.V.Heath, Calyx, 5(3): 100. 1996.
Nigellicereus (P.V.Heath) P.V.Heath, Calyx, 6(1): 1. 1998.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Southern America
Mexico to Venezuela, Caribbean

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Riccob. 1909. Bollettino delle Reale Orto Botanico di Palermo 8: 253. Palermo.

Additional references

Hunt, D., Taylor, N. & Charles, G. (ed.) 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. Milborne Port. ISBN 0-9538134-4-4.
Korotkova, N., Aquino, D., Arias, S., Eggli, U., Franck, A. , Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guerrero, P.C., Hernández, H.M., Kohlbecker, A., Köhler, M., Luther, K., Majure, L.C., Müller, A., Metzing, D., Nyffeler, R., Sánchez, D., Schlumpberger, B. & Berendsohn, W.G. 2021. Cactaceae at Caryophyllales. org–a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. Willdenowia 51(2): 251–270. DOI: 10.3372/wi.51.51208 Open access Reference page.


Korotkova, N. et al. 2021. Stenocereus in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 19. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Stenocereus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 19. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Stenocereus. Published online. Accessed: Dec 19 2021. 2021. Stenocereus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 19.
Hassler, M. 2021. Stenocereus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 19. Reference page.

Vernacular names
svenska: Orgelpipekaktussläktet

Stenocereus (Gk. stenos, narrow, L. cereus, candle) is a genus of columnar or tree-like cacti from the Baja California Peninsula and other parts of Mexico, Arizona in the United States, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela and the ABC islands of the Dutch Caribbean. The genus has been enlarged by the addition of species from several other genera. A close relative is the peculiar chinoa or chende cactus, Polaskia chende.

The flowers are mostly borne near the apex of the stems and mostly nocturnal. They are considered easy to grow and generally grow slowly.

Stenocereus thurberi (the organ pipe cactus) is a well-known member of this genus and is widely distributed in Arizona and northern Mexico.

The fruit is similar to a dragon fruit. Those of Stenocereus gummosus, acidic and very refreshing, are highly favored by the Seris of northwestern Mexico[1] who call the cactus ziix is ccapxl[2] - "thing whose fruit is sour". It is commonly known in Spanish as pitaya agria, or by the English translation Sour Pitaya. S. griseus (Dagger Cactus) fruits, locally known as iguaraya, are relished by the Wayuu from the La Guajira Peninsula of Colombia.[3]

Stenocereus are often used as ornamental plants in hot and arid regions, and as noted above, some species can double as a fruit crop.

The interior of Stenocereus trunks often grows to form tough, cane-like stakes suitable for certain kinds of construction. The Wayuu use those of Dagger Cactus for building wattle and daub walls, a technique they call yotojoro, after their name for the cactus wood "canes".[3]

Selected species

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Rathbunia alamosensis 346.JPG Stenocereus alamosensis (J.M. Coult.) A.C. Gibson & K.E. Horak Octopus cactus, cina Mexico
Stenocereus aragonii 2zz.jpg Stenocereus aragonii (F.A.C.Weber) Buxb. Costa Rica
Hertrichocereus beneckei.jpg Stenocereus beneckei (Ehrenb.) A. Berger & Buxb. Central Mexico
Stenocereus chacalapensis (Bravo & T. MacDoug.) Buxb. Oaxaca - Mexico
Stenocereus chrysocarpus Sánchez-Mej. Guerrero and Michoacán, Mexico
Stenocereus eichlamii cropped.jpg Stenocereus eichlamii (Britton & Rose) Buxb. ex Bravo Guanocal, Organo, Pitahaya, Tuna Guatemala : Chiapas - Mexico (Central America, North America)
Stenocereus eruca-IMG 6486.JPG Stenocereus eruca (Brandegee) A.C. Gibson & K.E. Horak Creeping devil caterpillar cactus Baja California Sur - Mexico
Stenocereus fimbriatus.jpg Stenocereus fimbriatus (Lam.) Lourteig Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti, Dominican Republic) : Jamaica, Puerto Rico - Greater Antilles (West Indies - Caribbean)
Stenocereus fricii Sánchez-Mej. Pitayo De Aguas Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan de Ocampo - Mexico
Stenocereus griseus (1).jpg Stenocereus griseus (Haw.) Buxb. Dagger cactus, yosú (Wayuunaiki) Mexico to Venezuela
RanchoPuntaSanCristobal34.JPG Stenocereus gummosus (Engelm.) A. Gibson & K.E. Horak Sour pitaya, pitaya agria, ziix is ccapxl (Cmiique iitom) Baja California (Norte), Baja California Sur - Mexico
Stenocereus kerberi K. Schum.) A.C. Gibson & K.E. Horak Colima, Sinaloa - Mexico
Stenocereus martinezii (J.G. Ortega) Buxb. Pitahayo, Pitayo Sinaloa - Mexico
Pitaya sonora.jpg Stenocereus montanus (Britton & Rose) Buxb. Chihuahua, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Sonora - Mexico
Stenocereus species (5723050573).jpg Stenocereus pruinosus (Otto ex Pfeiff.) Buxb. Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tamaulipas, Veracruz-Llave - Mexico
Bwy1257508914v.JPG Stenocereus queretaroensis F.A.C.Weber ex Mathes.) Buxb. Colima, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan de Ocampo, Queretaro de Zaragoza - Mexico
Stenocereus quevedonis (J.G. Ortega) Buxb. Pitire Sinaloa - Mexico
Stenocereus standleyi (J.G. Ortega) Buxb. Pitaya Marismena Guerrero, Sinaloa - Mexico
Stenocereus stellatus 01.jpg Stenocereus stellatus (Pfeiff.) Riccob. Baja organ pipe cactus Oaxaca, Morelos, Puebla - Mexico
Glandulicereus thurberi (5781366444).jpg Stenocereus thurberi (Engelm.) Buxb. Organpipe cactus Baja California (Norte), Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora - Mexico, Arizona - United States
Stenocereus treleasei (5752018680).jpg Stenocereus treleasei (Vaupel) Backeb. Tunillo Oaxaca - Mexico
Stenocereus yunckeri (Standl.) P.V. Heath Guatemala, Honduras

Close-up of organpipe cactus (S. thurberi) spines

Fruit of Stenocereus queretaroensis prepared for eating

Stenocereus gummosus at the Huntington Desert Garden.


Felger & Moser (1985)
Kozak, David L. (2013). Inside Dazzling Mountains: Southwest Native Verbal Arts Native literatures of the Americas UPCC book collections on Project MUSE. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9780803240865.

Villalobos et al. (2007)


Anderson, Edward F. (2001): The Cactus Family[ISBN missing]
Felger, Richard & Moser, Mary B. (1985): People of the desert and sea: ethnobotany of the Seri Indians. University of Arizona Press, Tucson[ISBN missing]
Innes, C. & Wall, B. (1995): Cacti, Succulents and Bromaliads. Cassell & The Royal Horticultural Society.[ISBN missing]
Villalobos, Soraya; Vargas, Orlando & Melo, Sandra (2007): Uso, manejo y conservacion de "yosú", Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae) en la Alta Guajira colombiana [Usage, Management and Conservation of yosú, Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae), in the Upper Guajira, Colombia]. [Spanish with English abstract] Acta Biologica Colombiana 12(1): 99–112. PDF fulltext

Plants, Fine Art Prints

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World