Virginia Tech Dendrology

cardón Cactaceae Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson) Britton & Rose Listen to the Latin symbol: --
Leaf: Reduced to a spine, 2 inches, displayed in vertical rows along the bark ridges, areole clusters of 20-30 spines. Spines eventually wear off, and older stems may completely lack them.
Flower: Attractive, borne near the top of the branches, white with a yellow center, 2 inches across, blooming at night during spring and early summer, persisting for less than 24 hours.
Fruit: A round fleshy berry, 2 inches, reddish and covered with short tan spines, inner flesh bright red and edible.
Bark: Initially green, leathery thick skin with 11-17 prominent vertical ridges, ridges initially covered with spine clusters; eventually turning smooth and brown, may become cracked (said to resemble elephant skin).
Form: Massive, to 70 feet, column-like, with one main trunk and several ascending branches.
Looks like: saguaro cactus
leaf fruit bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Pachycereus pringlei is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting cardón.

All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson