|Organ Pipe Cactus|
Several, see text
Stenocereus (Gk. stenos, narrow, L. cereus, candle) is a genus of columnar or tree-like cacti from the Baja California Peninsula and other parts of Mexico, Arizona in the United States, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela and the ABC islands of the Dutch Caribbean. The genus has been enlarged by the addition of species from several other genera. A close relative is the peculiar chinoa or chende cactus, Polaskia chende.
The fruit is similar to a dragon fruit. Those of Stenocereus gummosus, acidic and very refreshing, are highly favored by the Seris of northwestern Mexico who call the cactus ziix is ccapxl - "thing whose fruit is sour". It is commonly known in Spanish as pitaya agria, or by the English translation Sour Pitaya. S. griseus (Dagger Cactus) fruits, locally known as iguaraya, are relished by the Wayuu from the La Guajira Peninsula of Colombia.
Stenocereus are often used as ornamental plants in hot and arid regions, and as noted above, some species can double as a fruit crop.
The interior of Stenocereus trunks often grows to form tough, cane-like stakes suitable for certain kinds of construction. The Wayuu use those of Dagger Cactus for building wattle and daub walls, a technique they call yotojoro, after their name for the cactus wood "canes".
- Stenocereus alamosensis – Octopus cactus, cina
- Stenocereus aragonii
- Stenocereus beneckei
- Stenocereus eruca – Creeping devil caterpillar cactus
- Stenocereus griseus – Dagger cactus, yosú (Wayuunaiki)
- Stenocereus gummosus – Sour pitaya, pitaya agria, ziix is ccapxl (Cmiique iitom)
- Stenocereus hollianus
- Stenocereus montanus
- Stenocereus pruinosus
- Stenocereus queretaroensis
- Stenocereus stellatus – Baja organpipe cactus
- Stenocereus thurberi – Organpipe cactus
Close-up of organpipe cactus (S. thurberi) spines
Fruit of Stenocereus queretaroensis prepared for eating
- Anderson, Edward F. (2001): The Cactus Family
- Felger, Richard & Moser, Mary B. (1985): People of the desert and sea: ethnobotany of the Seri Indians. University of Arizona Press, Tucson
- Innes, C. & Wall, B. (1995): Cacti, Succulents and Bromaliads. Cassell & The Royal Horticultural Society.
- Villalobos, Soraya; Vargas, Orlando & Melo, Sandra (2007): Uso, manejo y conservacion de "yosú", Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae) en la Alta Guajira colombiana [Usage, Management and Conservation of yosú, Stenocereus griseus (Cactaceae), in the Upper Guajira, Colombia]. [Spanish with English abstract] Acta Biologica Colombiana 12(1): 99-112. PDF fulltext
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