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PlantFiles: Central Mexico Pipe Organ, Organo, Fence Post Cactus
Pachycereus marginatus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pachycereus (pak-ee-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: marginatus (mar-jen-AY-tus) (Info)

Synonym:Cereus marginata
Synonym:Stenocereus marginatus
Synonym:Lemaireocereus marginatus
Synonym:Cereus gemmatus
Synonym:Stenocereus marginatus var. gemmatus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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:
Full Sun

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

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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
From softwood 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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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive poeciliopsis On Feb 12, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- It is interesting, given the other comments on Mexican fence post cactus, that I have never experienced scale on any of mine. Two of mine grow with their lower 3-5 feet in partial shade and with water lapping at their base during our flood irrigation every other week from March to November. Despite that they do well, although the tallest, which had reached about 15 feet, had to have it's top cut off after a serious windstorm gave it a decided lean that kept increasing. Mexican fence post cactus makes a great plant for a small area because it is to linear. We have some of them in a narrow bed between the driveway and an east-facing block wall. Despite the harsh environment they do well, even with sporadic water.

Neutral growin On Mar 11, 2012, growin from Vancouver, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice cactus but seems very susceptible to scale which the plant will eventually succumb to. The reddish blooming form in more common in horticulture but I believe the green/yellow blooming form is more common in habitat.

Neutral Xenomorf On Jul 29, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Another synonym is Marginatocereus marginatus. Other common names are: Chilayo, Mexican Fence Post, Organ Cactus & rgano.

Positive palmbob On Feb 17, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very neat, straight up and down column, sometimes branching cactus with small spines along linear rows up and down the plant. The surface is slightly rough to the feel, like sandpaper. Light green in color. Used for barriers in Mexico (a wall of these is hard to get through and/or see through).

Plant is prone to scale if grown at all in the shade. Scale, and virtually any sort of insult will permanently scar this cactus easily.


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

Gilbert, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Queen Creek, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Agoura Hills, California
Brentwood, California
Canoga Park, California
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Hayward, California
Reseda, California
San Diego, California
San Marino, California
Sherman Oaks, California
Spring Valley, California
Stevinson, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Hudson, Florida
Metairie, Louisiana

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