Cereus clavatus Otto & A. Dietr.
Cereus deficiens Otto & A. Dietr.
Cereus eburneus Salm-Dyck
Cereus griseus Haw.
Lemaireocereus deficiens (Otto & A. Dietr.) Britton & Rose
Lemaireocereus griseus (Haw.) Britton & Rose
Ritterocereus deficiens (Otto & A. Dietr.) Backeb.
Ritterocereus griseus (Haw.) Backeb.
Stenocereus deficiens (Otto & A. Dietr.) Buxb.
Common Name: Pitaya
Pitaya is a much-branched, tree or shrub-like, spiny cactus with a short trunk, growing 6 - 9 metres tall[
The edible fruit is much appreciated, it is gathered from the wild and is also cultivated, especially in tropical and subtropical America[
]. The fruit is sold in local markets[
]. The plant is commonly grown as a hedge in tropical and subtropical America (especially Mexico)[
Northern S. America - Colombia, Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of drier areas in the tropics and subtropics. Plants can only tolerate the lightest of frosts.
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
The plant is subspontaneous and spontaneous after abandoned cultivation[
The fruits are edible and have a good taste[
]. A delicious flavour[
]. The fruits are around 5cm in diameter, spiny when immature[
]. Immature fruits have spines on them, but these are lost as the fruit ripens[
Commonly grown as a hedge plant in tropical and subtropical America (especially Mexico), its spiny nature acting as an animal-proof barrier[
The wood is rich in potassium and is, therefore, used as a fertilizer[
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