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Acanthocereus tetragonus - (L.) Hummelinck.

Common Name Pitahaya. Barbed-wire cactus.
Family Cactaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats A cactus. It is a tropical plant. It needs bright light. It needs a temperature above 13°C. It grows in sandy soils in dense thickets, hammocks, bottomlands of coastal areas, at elevations from sea level to 10 metres[270].
Range Northern S. America - Venezuela, north to Mexico, Florida, Texas and the West Indies.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Full sun
Acanthocereus tetragonus Pitahaya. Barbed-wire cactus.


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Acanthocereus tetragonus Pitahaya. Barbed-wire cactus.
J.M.Garg wikimedia.org

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Acanthocereus tetragonus is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Acanthocereus acutangulus (hort ex Pfeiffer) A. Berg.; Acanthocereus floridanus Small ex Br. & Rose; Acanthocereus pentagonus (L.)Br. & Rose; Acanthocereus pitajaya (DC.) Dugand ex Crozat; Acanthocereus princeps (Pfeiffer) Backenberg; Cactus pentagonus L; Cactus prismaticus Willd.; Cactus tetragonus L.; Cereus pentagonus (L.) Haw.; Cereus princeps Pfeiffer; Cereus tetragonus L.(Mill.); Cereus acutangulus hort. ex. Pfeiffer; [1b]

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Portion: Fruit, Stems. Fruit - raw. The bright red fruits are juicy, sweet and edible[46, 200, 270, 301]. The ovoid to oblong fruits are 30 - 80mm long[200, 270]. Young tender stems - cooked[301].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

This cactus often forms thickets in coastal hammocks which can be impenetrable and spiny. Cultivated as an ornamental. The Fairy Castle Cactus, a miniature cultivar of this species, has many curved branches that resemble the turrets of a castle. Carbon Farming - Agroforestry Services: living fence.

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Columnar, branching, slow growing cactus with spiny, five-sided, mid-green stems producing numerous smaller offsets.Climate: subtropical to tropical. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. A plant of the arid tropics and subtropics. Grows in humus-poor, sandy, well drained soils in a sunny position. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5[200]. The flowers open overnight. Flowers are open from midnight until dawn, attracting hummingbird moths (Hemaris spp.). Carbon Farming - Cultivation: regional crop. Management: standard.

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Barbwire acanthocereus, Kaktus segitiga, Pitaya, Chaco, Nun-tsutsuy, Organo, Pitahaya, Pitahaya morada, night-blooming cereus, barbed-wire cactus, sword-pear, dildo cactus, triangle cactus, and Órgano-alado de pitaya (Spanish).

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Antilles, Asia, Belize, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Martinique, Mexico*, Nicaragua, North America, Panama, South America, Trinidad, USA*, Venezuela, West Indies.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Yes

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Least Concern

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.) Hummelinck.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Acanthocereus tetragonus  
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