Classical Latin name assumed to mean ‘torch-like’ in reference to the prevalent shape in these cacti.
Body shrubby to tree-like, branched, erect, mostly waxy blue. Ribs 3-14, pronounced, sometimes constricted into segments. Flowers nocturnal, funnel-shaped, mostly white. Spines numerous. Pericarpel and flower tube elongated, broad, sometimes with a few scattered scales at the top. Fruit more or less ovoid, fleshy, red or yellow, splitting on one side; flesh white, pink or red; flower remnants persistent.
Generally grown as C. uruguayanus R. Kiesling which is much better known under the misapplied name C. peruvianus; the contorted cultivar 'Monstrosus' is quite widely grown.
Characteristic shape with waxy blue stems.
Considered in a narrow sense this is a genus of about 25 species from E South America and the West Indies.
Source: (1997). Cactaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.