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Item ID: 40
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Stenocereus
Species: thurberi
Common Name: Organ Pipe Cactus, Mehuelé
Habitat: This plant can be seen in rocky, desert terrain at 900 to 3,500 feet in elevation.
Range: This species is found in extreme southern Arizona, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California, Mexico.
Care: Stenocereus thurberi can be grown in Tucson provided it has a micro-climate suitable for low frost or freeze occurences along with dry soil conditions during the winter months. It is a rather slow growing species and can take many years to mature to specimen size.
Propagation: This cactus can be easily grown from seed or propagated by stem cuttings.
Size: A mature specimen can reach 25 feet in height and over 15 feet in width with numerous stem columns.
Shape: Columnar
Flowers: Flowers are white and open during the evening hours. They may remain open for most of the following day.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2005

The Organ Pipe Cactus is a beautiful, highly desirable plant for a desert landscape. The olive green stems or columns can be quite large with numerous gray spines.

Author Comments
This is a plant that should be grown in your landscape if you have the proper conditions. It is not a fast growing plant so be patient. It may need to be protected from frost and cold temperatures during the winter. The fruits of this species are a delicious reward and are sold in Mexican markets during the time of harvest. A cactus candy known as pitahaya dulce is also made from the fruits of this species and Opuntia fruit.

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