Candle cactus landscape
Papiamento name: kadushi (Cereus repandus) and yatu/datu (Stenocereus griseus)
Cereus repandus is a large tree-like candle cactus that can grow up to 10 meters high. With age it develops a reddish-brown trunk that is about 30 centimeters thick. It has gray-green stems that are about 10 centimeters thick and have 9 to 12 rounded ribs. The ribs are covered with areoles, each bearing 8-20 spines. The spines are grey and long and thin. The flowers are funnel-shaped and white with pinkish tips, and the fruits are typically red or purple but can be pale green. Cereus repandus has two distinct features that help differentiate it from Stenocereus griseus: 1) it branches out at ground level, unlike stenocereus griseus which only branches when it reaches a certain height; and 2) its thorns form dense rows that stick out in all directions, unlike the thorns of stenocereus griseus which are tightly spaced together and make up neat rows of rosettes; and 3) the arms of the peruvian apple cactus show segmentation.
Stenocereus griseus is a large columnar cactus that can reach 9 meters high. It does not produce one trunk with several branches like Subpilocereus repandus; instead it grows separate stems that grow upright. Stems have 7 or 8 ribs and are pale green to pale blue green. The grey-white spines are short and thick and darker at the tips. The flowers are light pink to creamy white. The fruit is dark red and covered with spines. Stenocereus griseus has two distinct features that help differentiate it from Cereus repandus: 1) it grows straight up and only branches when it reaches a certain height, unlike subpilocereus repandus that branches out at ground level; and 2) its thorns are tightly spaced together and make up neat rows of rosettes of 7 to 8 spines, while those of subpilocereus repandus are more dense and stick out in all directions.
Stenocereus griseus and Cereus repandus bloom at night; the flowers stay open until midday. They are both pollinated by bats, moths, hummingbirds and bees; nectar-feeding bats are reported to perform the majority of the pollination. These two species of candle cactus grow very slowly; the biggest individuals are probably several hundreds of years old.
Photo credit: Marjolijn Lopes Cardozo (SHAPE/DCNA)
Dutch CaribbeanBonairebiodiversityplantcactusCactaceaecandle cactusCereus repanduskadushiStenocereus griseusyatudatulandscapeSHAPE