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Cardón, Elephant Cactus, Mexican Giant Cactus
Scientific Name: Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson) Britton & Rose
Synonym: Cereus pringlei, Pilocereus pringlei
Family: Cactaceae
Cardón, Elephant Cactus, Mexican Giant Cactus (Pachycereus  pringlei) Recommended Temperature Zone:
USDA: 10-12

Frost Tolerance: Young specimens should be kept above 32°F (0°C), grown specimens resist to 25°F (-4°C) for a short time.

Sun Exposure: Light shade when young, full sun later

Origin: Central Baja California

Growth Habits: Up to 40 feet tall (12 m), trunk up to 40 inches thick (1 m), 7 feet tall (2.1 m); stems 8-12 in. wide (20-30 cm); 10 to 17 ribs; large areoles, often confluent, with brown felt; 1-3 centrals; 7-10 radials; number and size vary with the age of the plant.

Watering Needs: Little to moderate water when established

Propagation: Seeds (cuttings are difficult to root)


The Cardon from Baja California looks like the Saguaro of Arizona but grows somewhat thicker and do fine under more humid conditions that would kill the Arizona giant cactus. It is named after Cyrus Guernsey Pringle [1838-1911].

Cardón, Elephant Cactus, Mexican Giant Cactus (Pachycereus  pringlei)

Cardón, Elephant Cactus, Mexican Giant Cactus (Pachycereus  pringlei)

Blooming Habits:
Flowers only when mature, the white flowers are 3 inches long (8 cm), and come in the spring, at the top of the stems. The base of the flower is hidden in a mass of hair coming from the areole. The fruit is rich in pectin and is often used to make jellies.

Fruiting Habits:

References:
Las Cactaceas de Mexico

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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