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Selenicereus pteranthus (Princess of the Night)


Scientific Name

Selenicereus pteranthus (Link ex A. Dietr.) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Princess of the Night, Snake Cactus


Cereus pteranthus (basionym), Selenicereus nycticalus

Scientific Classification

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


Selenicereus pteranthus is one of the most popular night blooming cacti. It is a perennial, vine like, clambering or scrambling, spiny, leafless epiphyte, with 4 to 6 angled stems up to 10 feet (3 m) long and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. The conic spines are solitary or in clusters of 2 to 4. The flowers are spectacular, very fragrant, trumpet-shaped, white or pale cream and up to 12 inches (30 cm) long.

Selenicereus pteranthus (Princess of the Night)

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USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °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. 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cereus


Selenicereus pteranthus has a wide distribution, occurring in the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Cayman Islands, and Mexico.


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