Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: California and Western Mexico
Cultivation: Be careful not to exceed with the watering and leave the plant in the sun. They need to be fertilized every 10-15 days and be protected from low temperatures in winter.
Curiosity: Cereus, as seen already in the names of other cactaceae, comes from the Latin “candle, ” and refers to the columnar poise of these cacti. Steno comes from Greek and means “narrow”, and refers to the diameter of the stems, closer than that of classical cereus.


Cereus genera or subgenus? Stenocereus over time has been the subject of debate among botanists. Today, however, predominates the thesis that wants it as a gender in itself although it keeps a name that makes it think of a subgenre. The name Rathbunia had also been proposed to distinguish it better, but it was preferred to maintain the classical nomenclature of Stenocereus. These are mostly columnar-bearing cacti (some species are creeping), with heights up to two meters. The stems are green-gray or blue-green, branched by deep vertical ribs along which the thorny areolas grow. Thorns are generally short and robust. It flowers in the summer with beautiful scented, white flowers, which exclusively open at night.


Here are the species that are part of the genus Stenocereus.

  • Stenocereus alamosensis
  • S. aragonii
  • S. beneckei
  • S. chacalapensis
  • S. chrysocarpus
  • S. eichlamii
  • S. eruca
  • S. fimbriatus
  • S. fricii
  • S. griseus
  • S. gummosus
  • S. hystrix
  • S. kerberi
  • S. martinezii
  • S. montanus
  • S. pruinosus
  • S. queretaroensis
  • S. quevedonis
  • S. standleyi
  • S. stellatus
  • S. thurberi
  • S. treleasei
  • S. yuncker


Here are our tips for cultivating Stenocereus plants:

  • EXPOSURE: Choose an exposure in full sun.
  • TEMPERATURE: Used to the desert climate of Central America, it loves the heat and should always be kept above 8 ° C. It can even withstand cooler temperatures for short periods.
  • WATERING: Water once-twice a week in spring and summer. The soil must be completely dry before the next watering. Decrease the frequency of watering in autumn and suspend completely in winter when the cactus needs to be repaired in a cool and dry place.
  • SOIL: Use a standard soil for cactaceae.
  • CONCIMATION: Dilute two or three times a month a low nitrogen fertilizer in the water of watering during spring and summer.
  • REPOT: Stenocactus grows very high: up to two meters if cultivated, often more in its natural habitat. Choose large and deep vessels to give the plant a way to grow completely.
  • REPRODUCTION: Very strong plant, reproduced either by seed and by apical cuttings. You can then use the tips of the lateral branches, especially recommended if the branch spontaneously emitted some small root as sometimes happens.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search