Pachycereus Species, Senita Cactus, Totem Pole Cactus

Pachycereus schottii f. monstrosus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pachycereus (pak-ee-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: schottii f. monstrosus
Synonym:Lophocereus schottii var. monstrosus
Synonym:Cereus schottii var. monstrosus
Synonym:Pilocereus schottii var. monstrosus
Synonym:Lophocereus schottii f. monstrose
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Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gilbert, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Oracle, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Queen Creek, Arizona

San Manuel, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona(2 reports)

Clovis, California

Hayward, California

Riverside, California

San Diego, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Metairie, Louisiana

Henderson, Nevada

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Gardeners' Notes:


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

Central Phoenix -- Totem pole cactus is a great garden plant for Phoenix, whatever taxonomy you adhere to (see Xenomorf comment). I have several plants from partial shade to full sun and every-other-week summer water to little water in addition to natural precipitation. All of them do well. Unlike some columnar cacti, totem pole puts out arms sparingly, so it retains a relatively narrow footprint. I have used Styrofoam caps on small plants, but not on larger ones, and over a 25-year period I have never experienced freeze damage on my totem pole cacti.


On Sep 11, 2004, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Other synonyms include: Cereus schottii f. monstrose, Pilocereus schottii f. monstrose, Cereus sargentianus var. monstrosus, Cereus sargentianus f. monstrose, Pilocereus sargentianus var. monstrosus, Pilocereus sargentianus f. monstrose, Lophocereus sargentianus var. monstrosus, Lophocereus sargentianus f. monstrose, Cereus schottii var. australis f. monstrose, Pilocereus schottii var. australis f. monstrose, Lophocereus australis var. monstrosus, Lophocereus australis f. monstrose, Lophocereus schottii var. australias f. monstrose, Cereus mieckleyanus var. monstrosus, Cereus mieckleyanus f. monstrose, Lemaireocereus mieckleyanus var. monstrosus, Lemaireocereus mieckleyanus f. monstrose, Lophocereus mieckleyanus var. monstrosus, Lophocereus mieckleyanus f. monstrose, Lophocereus schotti... read more

The most recent and correct classification is Pachycereus schottii f. monstrose