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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 (info)
Tender Well drained soil Full sun
Acanthocereus_tetragonus Pitahaya. Barbed-wire cactus.


edibleplants.org
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.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 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: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly 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]

Plant 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].

References   More on Edible Uses

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

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
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Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

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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.

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

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.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Fahrenheit:

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant 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).

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
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Acanthocereus tetragonusPitahaya. Barbed-wire cactus.Tree5.0 10-12 SLMND303

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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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