Dictionary > Pachycereus pringlei

Pachycereus pringlei

A cactus species of the family Cactaceae, native to northwestern Mexico and Sonora, and is commonly known as elephant cactus or Mexican giant cardon
The species Pachycereus pringlei belongs to the cactus family Cactaceae. It is considered as the tallest cactus species in the world. The maximum recorded height was 19.2 m.1, 2 Its trunk can reach up to 1 m in diameter. It has morphological resemblance to the saguaro plant (Carnegiea gigantea). However, P. pringlei is more heavily branched and the branching occurs near the base of the stem. It also distinctively has fewer ribs on the stems. Its white, large, nocturnal flowers typically bloom at the lower portion of the stem. Its fruit bears several spines.
It is native to the northwestern Mexico and Sonora. Its common name, cardón, is derived from the Spanish cardo, which means thistle.
Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • (unranked): Angiosperms
  • Order: Caryophyllales
  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Genus: Pachycereus
  • Species: P. pringlei

Other common name(s):

  • Mexican giant cardon or cardon
  • elephant cactus
  • See also:


    1 “Taxon: Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson) Britton & Rose” . Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-08-29. Retrieved from ://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?417540.

    2 Salak, M. “In search of the tallest cactus”. Cactus and Succulent Journal. 72 (3).

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