Peniocereus striatus (Brandeg.) Buxbaum
Family: Cactaceae
gearstem cactus,  more...
[Cereus diguetii A. Weber,  more]
Peniocereus striatus image
Dr. Juergen Menzel  
Shrubs, suberect to sprawling, very inconspicuous. Roots 12 or more, ending in sweet potato-like swellings, 10-15 × 4-7 cm. Stems greenish brown to brown, branched, 25-75(-100) cm, distally 6 mm diam., at midlength ca. 6 mm diam.; wood hollow, solid-surfaced cylinders, proximally 3-7 mm diam.; ribs 6-9, flat-topped to 2 mm broad, narrowing toward sinus, 0.5 mm deep, separated by narrow grooves; areoles 5-20 mm apart along ribs, circular, 1 mm diam. Spines 5-12 per areole, yellowish white, some with black tips, nearly acicular, weak and easily broken off, 1.5-4 mm; radial spines encircling central spines, abaxial 3 longest, appressed, scurfy when young; central spines 2-3 porrect. Flowers: nocturnal, 7-10 cm; scales of flower tubes green-purple to reddish; outer tepals reddish to green-purple; inner tepals white to lightly tinted rose, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 2 cm, attenuate to apiculate; stamens 1 cm; anthers pale lemon yellow, 1.5-2 mm; style yellow-white, 6 cm; stigma lobes 9, yellowish white. Fruits scarlet, pyriform, 40-50 × 25 mm, with bristlelike spines. Seeds 1 × 0.8 mm; testa pitted near hilum. Flowering summer; fruiting summer-early fall. Sonoran Desert, flats, small hills; 0-500 m; Ariz.; Mexico (Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora).
Plant: Suberect to sprawling shrubs, very inconspicuous, 25-75 cm tall, arising from a cluster of ca. 12 or more light-brown, radiating tuberous roots, these 10-15 cm long, 4-7 cm wide. STEM commonly much branched, green to brown or purple, mostly ca. 6 mm in diameter, papillose-canescent, bearing 6-9 broad, flat-topped ribs, these to 2 mm broad, narrowing beneath, 0.5 mm tall, separated by narrow grooves. AREOLES yellow-tan-woolly, aging white, 5-20 mm apart on the rib Leaves: SPINES yellowish white, some black-tipped to all black, nearly acicular, weak and easily broken off, 5-16 per areole, 1.5-4 mm long, scurfy when young, the radial spines encircling the 2-3 erect central spines, the basal 3-5 spines usually the longest, appressed, scurfy when young Flowers: (5-)7-8 cm long, 5-6 cm wide; floral tube canescent, the scales green-purple to reddish; tepals lanceolate to oblanceolate, attenuate to apiculate, 18-25 mm long, the outer ones reddish to green-purple, the inner ones white or lightly tinted rose; stamens ca. 1 cm long, the filaments white, the anthers pale cream yellow Fruit: FRUITS scarlet, obpyriform to ovoid, bristly spiny, 2.5-5 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm wide; pulp red, fleshy, bitter. SEEDS 1-2 mm long, 0.8-1.3 mm wide, black, tessellate, wrinkled near hilum region Misc: Sonoran Desert, sandy to rocky flats and small hills; 150-450 m (500-1500 ft); Aug REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 1995. Cactaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 29(1): 2, 6.
FNA 2004, Pinkava 2004, Benson 1969
Common Name: gearstem cactus Duration: Perennial General: Low, erect to sprawling shrubs that are sparingly branched, the roots thickly tuberous, with unsegmented columnar stems greenish brown to brown, nearly terete below, 25-75 cm tall, 6 mm in diameter below, rigid with 6-9 prominent ribs, flat topped to 2 mm across, narrowing, separated by narrow groves Spines: Areoles 5-20 mm apart along ribs, circular an 1 mm in diameter, with 5-12 spines per areole, yellowish white, occasionally with black tips, conic with swollen bases, appearing bristlelike and weak, 1.5-4 mm long, the radial spines encircling the central spines the lower three are longest, appressed, the 2-3 central spines are porrect. Flowers: Nocturnal, borne laterally along upper part of ribs, along the upper edge of the areoles, fragrant and salverform with long tube flaring abruptly near top, usually 7-10 cm, scales of tube green purple to reddish, outer tepals reddish to green purple, inner white to tinted light rose, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 2 cm, attenuate to apiculate, the stamens 1 mm and the anthers yellow. Fruits: Indehiscent and scarlet, pyriform, 4-5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide, fleshy,with bristle like spines. Ecology: Found on sandy to rocky flats or small hills from 500-1,500 ft ( 152-457 m), flowers July-August. Distribution: Found in the Sonoran Desert in southwestern Arizona, ranging south to Sinaloa, through Sonora, and south onto Baja California. Notes: Distinguished from the similar P. greggii by virtue of the very narrow stems, which appear terete, with the lower rounded ribs crowded together, the flowers are also much smaller. Ethnobotany: The fruits are eaten. Etymology: Peniocereus comes from the Latin penio for tall and the Latin cereus meaning a tapered candle, while striatus means striped. Synonyms: Numerous, see Tropicos Editor: SBuckley, 2011
Peniocereus striatus image
Sue Carnahan  
Peniocereus striatus image
Sue Carnahan  
Peniocereus striatus image
Sue Carnahan  
Peniocereus striatus image
Sue Carnahan  
Peniocereus striatus image
Dr. Juergen Menzel  
Peniocereus striatus image
Dr. Juergen Menzel  
Peniocereus striatus image
Dr. Juergen Menzel  
Peniocereus striatus image
Dr. Juergen Menzel  
Peniocereus striatus image
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