Cereus calvus Engelm. ex J.M.Coult.
Cereus pringlei S.Watson
Cereus titan Engelm. ex J.M.Coult.
Pachycereus calvus (Engelm. ex J.M.Coult.) Britton & Rose
Pachycereus titan (Engelm. ex J.M.Coult.) Britton & Rose
Pilocereus pringlei (S.Watson) F.A.C.Weber
Common Name: Cardon Gigante
Cardon gigante is a large, evergreen, succulent, tree-like plant growing up to 12 metres tall with a bole that can be 2 metres tall and up to 1 metre in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible fruit and its stems which are used for fuel and construction.
Central America - Mexico.
Often forming extensive forests in semiarid areas[
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A plant of dry areas in the subtropics and tropics, where it is found at elevations from near sea level to more than 1,000 metres. Young plants cannot tolerate temperatures falling to 0°c, though older specimens can resist occasional short-lived frosts down to -4°c[
Requires a sunny position, though young plants appreciate a little shade[
]. Requires a well-drained soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
Fruit. The fruit is rich in pectin and is often used to make jellies[
]. The pulp of the fruits and the seeds are made into a flour that is used for making tomales[
]. The seeds are dried or roasted, then ground into a flour[
]. The reddish fruit is a round, fleshy berry about 5cm in diameter, covered with short tan spines.
It is probably this plant which is described by Clavigero (Historia de la California, 1789) under the name 'cardon.' Among other notes, he remarks that 'the missionaries found a method of utilizing the branches, for from a piece about two palms long they extracted by crushing the juice, which they boiled down, thus obtaining a balsam which is good for wounds and bruises[
The plant is used as a living fence in Mexico[
]. The prickly stems make a stock-proof barrier.
The stems are used for making huts[
The dried stems are used for fuel[
Cuttings are possible, but are difficult to root[
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