Ajuntament de Barcelona

Pachycereus marginatus

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Spanish name: 
    Chilayo
    English name: 
    Mexican fence post cactus
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Cereus marginatus, Lemaireocereus marginatus, Marginatocereus marginatus, Stenocereus marginatus, Cereus gemmatus
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Cactaceae
    Origin: 
    Central Mexico
    Habitat: 
    Semidesertic soils
    Characteristics: 

    Fleshy columnar green plant, up to 8 m tall, ramified from the base. The stems, 8-30 cm in diameter, have 4-7 prominent and wide ribs with thin awn and big and elongate areolas (the spot where the prickles appear). The areolas are confluent, with a small gap between them, covered by light greyish woolliness.  The radial prickles, 5-9, are short (2-4 mm) and reddish, whereas the central ones, 1-3, are yellowish or greyish and longer (1-1.5 cm).

    The conical orange and red flowers, 3-5 cm long, appear into pairs on the areolas.

    The globose fruit, about 4 cm in diameter, is quite dry and its colouring goes from yellow to red. It is covered by prickles and woolliness and has many black seeds inside.

    Flowering time: 
    Spring-summer
    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name Pachycereus marginatus consists of the genus name Pachycereus, from the Greek παχύς, “thick, greasy”, and the Latin cereus, “(wax) candle, (wax) torch”, alluding the stem shape, and the Latin term marginatus, “marginate, with margin”, in allusion to the beards which are marked by the presence of very close and confluent areolas.