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Polaskia chichipe (Chichipe)


Scientific Name

Polaskia chichipe (Rol.-Goss.) Backeb.

Common Names



Cereus chichipe (basionym), Cereus mixtecensis, Lemaireocereus chichipe, Lemaireocereus mixtecensis, Myrtillocactus chichipe

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Pachycereeae
Genus: Polaskia


Polaskia chichipe is a columnar, tree-like cactus, up to 16.5 feet (5 m) tall, usually with a short trunk that branches freely at the top as it matures. The stems are greenish-grey, curved, each having 9 to 12 acute, wavy ribs. Each areole has 6 to 7 radial spines up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and one longer grayish central spine. The flowers are small and yellowish-green or pinkish-white in color. They are followed by edible fruits up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter.

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USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly, low-maintenance and hardy. Make sure 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 with new 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.


Polaskia chichipe is native to Mexico (Puebla and Oaxaca).


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