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Cereus validus


Scientific Name

Cereus validus Haw.


Piptanthocereus validus, Cereus forbesii, Piptanthocereus forbesii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cereeae
Genus: Cereus


Cereus validus, also known as Cereus forbesii, is a shrubby or tree-like cactus with ribbed, blue-green stems. It grows up to 23 feet (7 m) tall and has a trunk with a diameter of up to 16 inches (40 cm). Flowers are white to reddish, up to8 inches (20 cm) long, up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter, and appear in summer. Fruits are red with lilac pulp and small black seeds.

Cereus forbesii

Photo by Atlas Catamarca


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and hardy. Ensure they receive enough water without becoming waterlogged, especially during the summer, and fertilize them for the best results. If the roots have become black or overly soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot. Cut away the affected parts and replant them. Most gardeners interested in cacti should be able to cultivate these without much problem.

It may become necessary to repot your Cereus if it outgrows its container. If so, make sure the soil is dry, and then remove the pot. Knock away old soil and prune away any rotted or dead roots, then replace it in a new pot and backfill it with fresh soil. Make sure not to overwater cacti planted in new pots, as this can lead to root rot. It should be left dry for about a week and then watered lightly.

These cacti propagate quite easily from cuttings. Simply sever a branch and replant in moist, well-drained soil. See more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.


Native to South America.

Forms and Cultivars


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