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The Cactaceae Vol II, plate XVI filtered.jpg
A. tetragonus flower (left), A. subinermis flower and fruit (right)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Pachycereeae
Genus: Acanthocereus

Acanthocereus baxaniensis
Acanthocereus colombianus
Acanthocereus horridus
Acanthocereus occidentalis
Acanthocereus subinermis
Acanthocereus tetragonus

Acanthocereus is a genus of cacti. Its species take the form of shrubs with arching or climbing stems up to several meters in height. The generic name is derived from the Greek word άκανθα (acantha), meaning spine,[2] and the Latin word cereus, meaning candle.[3]

The six species occur in the tropical Americas from the southern tip of Florida to Colombia, including islands of the Caribbean.

Stems have 3 to 5 ribs, typically thin, with stout spines. The pretty white funnel-shaped flowers are night-opening, 12–25 cm (4.7–9.8 in) long and 6–12 cm (2.4–4.7 in) in diameter.

Barbed-wire Cactus stem

Acanthocereus tetragonus, commonly known as Barbed-wire Cactus, Chaco, Nun-tsusuy, or Órgano, is the most widespread of the genus and the largest, reaching 2–7 m (6.6–23.0 ft) tall.

The name was first used by George Engelmann in 1863, although he did not describe its characters, leaving it to Alwin Berger in 1905 to define it as a subsection of Cereus. In 1909, Nathaniel Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose elevated Acanthocereus to a genus.[4]

Barbed-wire Cactus habit


The genera Dendrocereus Britton & Rose and Monvillea Britton & Rose have been brought into synonymy.



  1. ^ "Acanthocereus (Engelm. ex A. Berger) Britton & Rose". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  2. ^ Eggli, U.; Newton, L.E. (2004). Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 1. ISBN 978-3-540-00489-9. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  3. ^ Couplan, François; James Duke (1998). Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America. McGraw Hill Professional. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-87983-821-8.
  4. ^ a b Anderson, Edward F. (2001). The Cactus Family. Timber Press. pp. 106–108. ISBN 978-0-88192-498-5.

External links[edit]

Media related to Acanthocereus at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Acanthocereus at Wikispecies