Triangle Cactus, Dildoe Cactus, Barbed-wire Cactus

Acanthocereus tetragonus

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acanthocereus (a-kan-tho-KER-ee-us) (Info)
Species: tetragonus (tet-ra-GON-us) (Info)
Synonym:Acanthocereus floridanus
Synonym:Acanthocereus pentagonus
Synonym:Cactus tetragonus
Synonym:Cereus dussii
Synonym:Cereus pentagonus
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Vines and Climbers

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

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)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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


Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

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

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


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

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Big Pine Key, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Chalmette, Louisiana

Picayune, Mississippi

Chester, New York

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 15, 2015, SpineyLinux from Salinas, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

According to sources on the web, this is the best all around cacti for grafting purposes.

Historically, its been used as food in Texas.


On Aug 31, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Acanthocereus tetragonus is Native to Texas and other States.


On Feb 27, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

More synonyms of this plant are: Cereus tetragonus, Cactus prismaticus, Acanthocereus princeps, Acanthocereus pitajaya, Acanthocereus columbianus, Cereus acutangulus, Acanthocereus acutangulus, Acanthocereus brasiliensis & Cactus pitajaya.


On Jan 19, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This highly spiny, subshrub to thicket-forming, sometimes rather large, shrubby cactus with stems up to 10 feet or possibly taller is native to the coastal hammocks and dry coastal habitats and thickets and sandy coastal habitats of central and southern Florida and the Keys, south into the Caribbean. The flowers are very amazing and showy and are white with a deep red and orange or red-orange center. The flowers bloom at night and are rarely seen by naturalists due to swarms of mosquitoes and very dark surroundings. The flowers are closed during the day. This cactus blooms a few times a year for around a few weeks. This cactus often forms thickets in coastal hammocks which can be impenetrable and spiny. It gets the common names Dildoe and Barbed-wire Cactus due to the very sharp, barb-wire... read more