Stenocereus thurberi
"Organ Pipe"

     Found in Sonoran Desert region southern Arizona and northern Mexico, Stenocereus thurberi is the famous "Organ Pipe Cactus". It's stems, up to 8 inches in diameter, branch at the base forming a candelabra shaped plant up to 20 feet tall. Slight restrictions along the stems mark each years growth. It produces white to lavender nocturnal flowers with white edged petals. Th flowers last for only one night and are primarily pollinated by bats. The flowers are followed by green, spiny, edible fruit that turn red and lose their spines as they ripen. Like some other Stenos the new growth spines are red at the base gradually turning black and then grey as they age.
     I bought a potfull of these from Home Depot and split them up. Put a couple in the yard and a couple in pots. They are all doing well but seem to grow a lot slower than the S. griseus do. Click below for other Stenocereus thurberi pictures.

At the Tucson
Botanical Gardens

An even larger one at
the Desert Museum
All images and text are copyright 2005 to present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.