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Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost Organ Pipe)


Scientific Name

Stenocereus pruinosus (Otto ex Pfeiff.) Buxb.

Common Names

Gray Ghost Organ Pipe


Echinocactus pruinosus, Cactus pruinosus, Cereus roridus, Lemaireocereus laevigatus, Lemaireocereus longispinus, Lemaireocereus pruinosus, Ritterocereus laevigatus, Ritterocereus pruinosus, Stenocereus longispinus

Scientific Classification

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


Stenocereus pruinosus is a large shrubby or tree-like cactus with a distinct trunk from which the branching stems arise. It grows up to 16 feet (4.9 m) tall and up to 10 feet (3 m) wide. Stems are gray-green and bear 6 to 10 very high ribs lined with areoles. Spines are grey to brownish, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. Each areole has 1 to 4 central spines and 5 to 8 radial spines. Flowers are white, funnel-shaped, and appear on new growth at the stem tips. Fruits are egg-shaped, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long, and change color from yellow, orange-green, to purple.

Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost Organ Pipe)

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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. 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.


Stenocereus pruinosus is native to south-central Mexico.


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