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Stenocereus pruinosus – Gray Ghost Organ Pipe


Scientific Name

Stenocereus pruinosus (Otto ex Pfeiff.) Buxb.

Common Names

Gray Ghost Organ Pipe, Pitayo de Octubre (Spanish), Pitaya (Spanish)


Echinocactus pruinosus (basionym)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 tree like, branched columnar cactus with distinct trunk, up to 16 feet (4.9 m) tall and up to 10 feet (3 m) wide. Each stem is gray green in color. They bear 6 to 10 very high ribs lined with areoles from which flowers and spines are produced. Each bears 1 to 4 central sines and 5 to 8 radial spines, all bearing a grayish color. The funnel shaped white flowers are borne on new growth at the stem tips. Following the flowers are very large red fruits the size of a small apple.

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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. They should be fertilized during their growing season in the summer with a good cactus fertilizer… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cereus.


Native to south central Mexico.


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