Acanthocereus tetragonus


Acanthocereus (published in 1909) is a genus of cacti. Its species take the form of shrubs with arching or climbing stems up to several meters in height.

The six species occur in the tropical Americas from the southern tip of Florida to Colombia, including islands of the Caribbean.

Stems have 3 to 5 ribs, typically thin, with stout spines. The pretty white funnel-shaped flowers are night-opening, 12–25 cm long and 6–12 cm in diameter.

Acanthocereus tetragonus, commonly known as Barbed-wire Cactus because of its spikes, chaco, nun-tsusuy, or órgano, is the most widespread of the genus and the largest, ranging from 2-7 meters tall.

The name was first used by George Engelmann in 1863, although he did not describe its characters, leaving it to Alwin Berger in 1905 to define it as a subsection of Cereus. In 1909, Nathaniel Britton and Joseph Rose elevated Acanthocereus to a genus.


The 2 genera Dendrocereus Britton & Rose and Monvillea Britton & Rose have been brought into synonymy.


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