Virginia Tech Dendrology

organpipe cactus Cactaceae Stenocereus thurberi (Engelm.) Buxbaum Listen to the Latin symbol: STTH3
Leaf: Reduced to a dark spine, central spine(s) up to 2 inches and lateral spines 1/2 inch, displayed in vertical rows along the bark ridges, areole clusters of 10-14 spines less than 1 inch apart.
Flower: Attractive, white to purple (with white edges), 3 inches across, blooming at night during early summer, persisting for less than 24 hours, appearing at the branch tips.
Fruit: A nearly round berry, densely thorny, 1 1/2 inches, green ripening to red.
Bark: A green, leathery thick skin with 12-17 prominent vertical ridges.
Form: Clustered, unbranched column-like branches sweeping upward from a central point, to 20 feet tall, clumps to 15 feet wide, individual stems approximately 6-8 inches in diameter.
Looks like: Andes organ pipe - senita cactus
leaf bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Stenocereus thurberi is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting organpipe cactus.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
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