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Selenicereus anthonyanus (Fish Bone Cactus)


Scientific Name

Selenicereus anthonyanus (Alexander) D. R. Hunt

Common Names

Fish Bone Cactus, Fishbone Orchid Cactus, Rick Rack Cactus, Ric Rac Orchid Cactus, Zig-Zag Cactus, St. Anthony's Rik-Rak


Cryptocereus anthonyanus (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Selenicereus


Selenicereus anthonyanus is a fast growing, epiphytic, scandent or climbing cactus that branches along a notched narrow stem. It produces green, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) long and up to 6 inches (15 cm) wide, flat branches. They have up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and up to 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) wide lobes that are tapered towards a rounded apex so appear to be a pinnate leaf. The stems can adhere to porous surfaces and often have a few aerial roots. The flowers are showy, fragrant up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long and up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, with outer petals that are a dark violet rose color with white inner petals, yellow stamens and a prominent white branched pistil in the center. They appear in late spring and early summer and are open in late afternoon and evening, lasting only one day.


USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °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 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. Like all cacti, give them lots of direct sunlight, especially during the summer. Well-drained soil is best, and most Cereus perform well in a soil that contains some organic material. Some recommend avoiding a soil that contains sphagnum moss, though – it can make the cactus vulnerable to root rot.

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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cereus


Native to southern Mexico.


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