Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Queen of the Night, Andes Organ Pipe, Hedge Cactus
Cereus hildmannianus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cereus (KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: hildmannianus (hild-man-ee-AH-nus) (Info)

Synonym:Cereus hildmannianus subsp. hildmannianus
Synonym:Cereus hildmannianus subsp. xanthocarpus
Synonym:Cereus peruvianus (misapplied)
Synonym:Cereus xanthocarpus
Synonym:Piptanthocereus xanthocarpus

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

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 Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


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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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ab7fh On Sep 20, 2006, ab7fh from Wittmann, AZ wrote:

We took a cutting from our last home in Phoenix and moved it to our new place in Wittmann. Elevation here is 1680 feet and the plant is doing extremely well.

In fact we have a couple segments over 10 feet tall which are now bending over in the middle making nearly a 90 deg angle. What should be done about this? Should I stake the segments? Cut them back? Any help would be appreciated.

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

Apparently the synonym "C. peruvianus" was "misapplied" to C. hildmannianus in a 1768 publication. "C. peruvianus" is actually a synonym of C. repandus. Lots of people call C. hildmannianus the Peruvian Apple because the plant looks very close to C. repandus which is the true Peruvian Apple.
Some publications list C. hildmannianus as "Hedge Cactus & Queen of the Night" The main identifying characteristic for C. repandus is it has pinkish white flowers instead of white or white/yellowish flowers; and the flowers are smaller.

The main differences between the two subspecies of Cereus hildmannianus are:
Subspecies 'hildmannianus' ; the stems grow in a more upright fashion and the plant has a more overall compactness look to it. The spines (if any) are also less than an eighth inch long.
Subspecies 'uruguayanus' ; Alot of the stems growing out from the base are at slight angles instead of upright and dosen't look as compact. The spines are longer than a quarter inch. The flowers are the same on both subspecies.

Positive palmbob On Apr 16, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very large branching columnar cactus up to 30' tall. Develops a thick woody trunk up to 3' in diameter. Large white blooms with yellowish centers at night (not sure what time of year- spring maybe?).


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

Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Wittmann, Arizona
Davis, California
Desert View Highlands, California
Los Angeles, California
Nuevo, California
San Diego, California
San Jacinto, California
San Leandro, California
Hudson, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
North Port, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Whiting, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York (2 reports)
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

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