A tall, columnar, almost tree like cactus with spiny ribs and reaching up to 3.5 meters tall. Mature specimens are truly spectacular but may get to large for most people unless you have a large glasshouse or conservatory. Don’t worry if you don’t, they are slow growing so will give you many years of enjoyment before outgrowing your home and larger specimens can command a good price with collectors so treat it as a bit of an investment.
Another common name for this cactus is Peruvian apple cactus. The large cream coloured flowers open for one night only and are followed by Pitaya fruit (AKA Peruvian apple) whose white flesh and black seeds are edible. They look a bit like Dragon fruit and are a close relative.
Grow in full sun and plant in a gritty, humus rich, well drained compost. Water regularly through the summer allowing the soil to partially dry out and watering is usually unnecessary from Autumn through to mid spring. Feed once or twice a year during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertiliser. We have had these survive temperatures down to -6c in winter but the compost must be completely dry, if it is too wet and cold root rot will set in.
Sent as a young plant in a 5cm pot.
Additional photos By איתן טל Etan Tal - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7889040.