Cereus Mill.

Column Cactus

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: Thompson, A, ; Forbes, S.; Spencer, R. (1997). Cactaceae. In: Spencer, R.. 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.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Caryophyllanae
order      Caryophyllales
family       Cactaceae