Stems climbing to 10 m or more, jointed at intervals of generally more than 1 m, 3-winged and generally 3-8 cm wide; margins of ridges irregularly wavy. Areoles with 2-5 spines. Flowers mostly 15-25 cm wide and 30 cm long, white; summer. Fruit 5-8 cm wide, red with a white flesh.
Frequently used as a graft stock for colours or any grafts to be grown quickly.
Naturalised and weedy in NE New South Wales and Queensland where it persists around old gardens and refuse tips.
Other species occasionally cultivated include H. guatemalensis Britton & Rose and H. ocamponis Britton & Rose.
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.