Mexican Organ Pipe, Pitayo de Mayo

Stenocereus griseus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stenocereus (sten-oh-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: griseus (GREE-see-us) (Info)
Synonym:Cereus griseus
Synonym:Lemaireocereus griseus
Synonym:Ritterocereus griseus
Synonym:Rathbunia grisea


Edible Fruits and Nuts

Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


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:

White/Near White


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 herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

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 (2 reports)

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Merced, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 8, 2013, real_americana from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

(I would like to grow these for the fruit in San Diego, CA, but do not know if the environment is suitable). Anyway I found two interesting videos on youtube and a research paper about nutrition. The videos are in Spanish, but even if you don't know the language the pictures are amazing. YouTube, "Techaluta, la cuna de la pitaya", and YouTube, "Conozca las pitayas de Techaluta". These titles are, "Techaluta the cradle of the pitaya", and "Getting to know the pitayas of Techaluta". The first begins in the orchard and ends with preparing the fruit for market. The second video is set in the market. Techaluta is in Jalisco, and they take the fruit to market in Guadalajara, 53 miles away. The farmer explains that the orchard was initiated by his father, and now owned by his uncle. Most plant... read more


On Feb 9, 2005, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This cactus eventually forms a trunk with much age and reaches 20-30 feet high. The younger plants have many more spines. It blooms at night and the flowers stay open until midday. (another night blooming Cereus -aka Ceroid)
This plant is grown for it's fruit.

Other synonyms are: Cereus erbuneus, Cereus deficiens, Lemaireocereus deficiens, Lemaireocereus eburneus, Ritterocereus deficiens, Rathbunia deficiens, Stenocereus eburneus, Stenocereus deficiens, Stenocereus victoriensis & Neolemaireocereus griseus

Note: The synonym 'Lemaireocereus pruinosis' is not a synonym of this species. Instead, it is actually a synonym of Stenocereus pruinosus which is a different species entirely.


On Sep 13, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

tall columnar Venezualan and Mexican cactus growing up to 30' tall. Many synonyms