PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Senita, Whisker Cactus
Pachycereus schottii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pachycereus (pak-ee-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: schottii (SHOT-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Cereus schottii
Synonym:Lophocereus schottii
Synonym:Pilocereus schottii
Synonym:Cereus sargentianus
Synonym:Lophocereus sargentianus


Cactus and Succulents


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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:

Full Sun


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

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



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


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

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 2, 2005, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Additional common names are: Cina; Garambuyo; Mochi; Sina; Sinita; Tuna Barbona; & Viejo.
Additional synonyms are: Pilocereus sargentianus, Cereus schottii var. australis, Pilocereus schottii var. australis, Lophocereus australis, Lophocereus schottii var. australis, Lophocereus schottii var. tenuis.
The flowers are open at night and are white to deep pink (another night blooming Cereus). Native to southern Arizona, Baja California, Sonora and Mexico. The fruit are tasty and apparently edible though they are not harvested as a crop.


On Mar 8, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Not as interesting as its spineless cousin, the monstrose form, this one is still attractive with thick clumps of 'fur' down all or parts of the column. Columns are tall and angular and plants are a greenish turquoise. Native of Baja CAlifornia