Pachycereus pringlei Species Plant
Cactus species Pachycereus pringlei is one of the tallest cactus plants. Columnar when young but later multi-branched when older specimens. Although the main trunks can be over 3ft. in diameter on older specimens of Pachycereus pringlei the individual stems average 8-12 in. wide (20-30 cm) with 10 to 17 ribs on average, large areoles, often confluent, with brown felt, 1-3 central spines and 7-10 radials spines on average. The number and size of spines though can vary with the age of the plants. Easy to grow, long living and makes a great low to zero maintenance landscape plant that is also very drought tolerant once well established.
Specimen Size : 14" tall by 3" in diameter
Common Names : Mexican Saguaro, Mexican Giant Cardon. In Spanish; Cardón, Cardón Pelón, Sagueso, Sahuaso
Synonyms : Cereus pringlei, Pilocereus pringlei, Pachycereus calvus
Native To : Mexico- In Sonoran desert and Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California (Norte) & Baja California Sur.
Flower/Fruit : Pachycereus pringlei has a white nocturnal bloom averaging 2-1/2" to 3" in diameter, bell shaped, 3" long flower tube, cream colored anthers. Blooming occurs in its native habitat from March through June, flowers appear on the upper tips of stems, especially stems with a warm, southern exposure. Only mature 6'ft. or taller plants will bloom. Flowers open in the late afternoon, stay open all night, then close about mid-morning the next day. The reason for this, is that the cardón, like most of the other columnar cacti of the southwestern corner of North America, depends on nightly visits from nectar feeding bats for pollination.
Fruit : The fruit of Pachycereus Pringlei has a red-green to dark red colored exterior, spiny exterior skin. The flesh inside is dark red with small black edible seeds. Fruit size averages 2" inches in diameter with a roundish shape. The fruit is also rich in pectin and is often used to make jellies.
More Info : Pachycereus pringlei is commonly known as Cardón, a name derived from the Spanish word cardo, meaning "thistle."In Latin, ''pachy'' means thick and ''cereus'' means waxy.
Pachycereus Pringlei scientific/botanical name was in honor of American botanist Cyrus Pringle.
The fruit of Pachycereus pringlei was an important food for the Seri people in Sonora, who call this cactus Xaasj.
The flesh of Pachycereus pringlei contains alkaloids, and may have been used as a psychoactive plant in Mexico.
Pachycereus pringlei or Cardón is the tallest cactus species in the world, with a maximum recorded height of 63' ft. or (19.2 m), with a stout trunk up to 3.3'ft. or (1 m) in diameter and bearing several erect branches.
Although Pachycereus Pringlei is a slow growing cactus they are also extremely long-lived, and many specimens live well over 300 years. Some large old specimens can weight over 25 tons.
How to tell the American Southwest Saguaro-Carnegiea gigantea apart from the Mexican Saguaro-Pachycereus Pringlei?
In overall appearance, Pachycereus Pringlei resembles the related Saguaro or scientifically known as Carnegiea gigantea especially when young, but Pachycereus Pringlei differs in these aspects listed below;
1) Fewer ribs on the stems than Carnegiea gigantea.
2) More heavily branched.
3) Branching occurs nearer the base of the main stem.
4) Areoles and spination differ.
5) The location of the blossoms are lower along the stem.
6) Fruit is heavily spiny on exterior.
7) Pachycereus pringlei flowers are white, larger, nocturnal, and appear along the ribs as opposed to only tops of the stems.
Care : Part shade for young small plants to full sun plants 8" or taller. If grown in containers you can have faster growth using rich good draining soil mix, regular water in summer, little water required in winter. If ground planting use semi-rich soil with some sand added to aid drainage in winter rainy months. Once well established ground planted Pachycereus Pringlei need almost no water only occasionally in mid summer. Young plants of Pachycereus Pringlei 12" tall or smaller should be kept above 32°F (0°C), mature specimens 3ft. or taller resist to 25°F (-4°C) for brief periods.