General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8b -9.4 °C (15 °F) to -6.7 °C (20 °F)
Plant Height: Up to 12 feet or more
Plant Spread: Up to 6 feet or more
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Other: Within 30 days or so of pollination of the flower
Flowers: Nocturnal
Flower Color: White
Other: Salmon
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Other: Primarily pollinated by the Senita Moth
Moths and Butterflies
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Common names
  • Senita
  • Whisker Cactus
  • Senita Cactus
  • Mochi
  • Tuna Barbona
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Pachycereus schottii
  • Synonym: Lophocereus schottii

Photo Gallery
Location: Baja California
Date: 2017-12-30
Near Cataviña
Location: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
Date: 2016-11-13
Location: Mesa, AZ.
Date: 2015-10-07
Location: Baja California
Date: 2017-12-30
Pseudocephalium. Hairy spines on older plants indicate sexual mat
Location: Baja California
Date: 2017-12-30
Location: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
Date: 2015-11-17
Aerial roots
Location: Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona
Date: 2013-08-07
Mature specimens
Uploaded by Aguane
Location: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Aizona
Date: 2015-11-17

Photo courtesy of: davidbygott

Date: 2012-12-22
Photo courtesy of: Frank Vincentz

Date: 2012-12-22
Photo courtesy of: Frank Vincentz
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Jun 1, 2019 4:20 PM concerning plant:
    Shrubby or treelike spiny cactus from Arizona, Baja California, and Sonora. Young plants and lower stems of older plants have the regular juvenile spines, which are short(ish) and rigid. The tips of older stems (the terminal few inches to 3 feet or more) form a pseudocephalium with lots of long, flexible gray spines. This is where the nocturnal white or pink flowers appear, as well as the small, red fruit (which is edible but not as good as that of Stenocereus thurberi). Pollinated by the mutualistic Senita Moth (Upiga virescens). Stems have various purported medicinal uses.

    Different varieties have been described. This plant was formerly placed in Lophocereus, which has been lumped with Pachycereus, but is pollinated by moths instead of bats. A popular spineless, monstrose version (Totem Pole Cactus (Pachycereus schottii 'Monstrosus')) may be more common in cultivation than the wild type. A very similar plant, Pachycereus gatesii, is much less common in cultivation and grows in a limited area of Baja California Sur.
Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
ID question by Baja_Costero Jan 15, 2016 5:38 PM 2

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