Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Snake Cactus, Serpent Cactus, Queen of the Night, Junco, Junco Espinoso, Pitahiyita
Peniocereus serpentinus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Peniocereus (pen-ee-oh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: serpentinus (ser-pen-TEE-nus) (Info)

Synonym:Nyctocereus serpentinus
Synonym:Cereus serpentinus
Synonym:Cactus serpentinus
Synonym:Nyctocereus castellanosii
Synonym:Cereus ambiguus

» View all varieties of Orchid Cactus

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

Unknown - Tell us

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Kelli
Thumbnail #1 of Peniocereus serpentinus by Kelli

By palmbob
Thumbnail #2 of Peniocereus serpentinus by palmbob

By Kelli
Thumbnail #3 of Peniocereus serpentinus by Kelli

By CactusJordi
Thumbnail #4 of Peniocereus serpentinus by CactusJordi

By CactusJordi
Thumbnail #5 of Peniocereus serpentinus by CactusJordi

By CactusJordi
Thumbnail #6 of Peniocereus serpentinus by CactusJordi

By cactus_lover
Thumbnail #7 of Peniocereus serpentinus by cactus_lover

There are a total of 11 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Xenomorf On Sep 2, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

More synonyms of this plant are Cereus splendens, Cactus ambiguus & Echinocereus serpentinus.
Other common names are "Mexican Night-blooming Cereus & Reina de la Noche"

Positive Kelli On Apr 1, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is one of several species known as queen of the night. It is a night-blooming cactus. The flowers only last one night. The flowers are very fragrant, like gardenias.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Canoga Park, California
Casselberry, Florida
Milton, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Brazoria, Texas

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