Ajuntament de Barcelona

Cereus forbesii

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Spanish name: 
    Ucle
    English name: 
    Orange apple cactus
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Cereus validus, Piptanthocereus forbesii
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Cactaceae
    Origin: 
    Argentina and Eastern Bolivia
    Habitat: 
    Sandy and well-drained soils in plain and mountains
    Characteristics: 

    Fleshy perennial greyish-green cylindrical columnar plant, up to 4 m tall. It is ramified, with long and straight stems, 12 cm in diameter.

    The stems have 4-8 ribs with areolas (the spot where the prickles sprout) and depressions at regular gaps (which give them the appearance of articulated stems). The prickles are chestnut-brown.

    The pinkish white flowers are very big (20-25 cm in diameter) and solitary. Its shape looks like a long funnel. They open at nightfall and during the night and are closed on insolation hours.

    The ovoid fruit, 4.5-10 cm long, has a smooth orangish red to violet surface, purple edible pulp and black seeds.

    Flowering time: 
    Spring-summer
    Fruiting time: 
    Summer
    Uses and properties: 

    Mainly used in gardening for decoration purposes, although in Argentina, its homeland, a liqueur is made with the fruit.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name Cereus forbesii consists of the genus name Cereus, from the Latin cereus, “(wax) candle, (wax) torch”, in allusion to the stems shape, and the Latin neologism forbesii, “of Forbes”, dedicated to the American botanist Charles Noyes Forbes (1883-1920).