Cereus diguetii F.A.C.Weber
Cereus striatus Brandegee
Neoevansia diguetii (F.A.C.Weber) W.T.Marshall
Neoevansia striata (Brandegee) Sánchez-Mej.
Peniocereus diguetii (F.A.C.Weber) Backeb.
Wilcoxia diguetii (F.A.C.Weber) Peebles
Wilcoxia striata (Brandegee) Britton & Rose
Common Name: Gearstem Cactus
Peniocereus striatus is a spiny, succulent, shrubby, vine-like cactus growing from a cluster of roots, each ending in tubers 30 - 40cm long. The plant produces numerous erect to sub-erect, very slender, branching stems up to 150cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine.
Peniocereus striatus has declined markedly in parts of its range and there it is highly threatened. However, given the
current state of understanding, this decline is not mirrored across Baja California, where populations are much more stable. Hence, on a global level the plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2017)[
Southwest N. America - suthern Arizona, northwest Mexico (Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Sonora and Sinaloa)
Coastal thorn-scrub and desert scrub, growing beneath trees and shrubs in flats and on hills; at elevations up to 400 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
Peniocereus striatus is native to arid and semi-arid regions of southwestern N. America. In one study of a wild population in Arizona, around 19% of the population had their top growth killed when the temperature at the site dropped to -13.7°c. More than half of these plants had re-sprouted from the base or had new branches growing from the desiccated stems by the following summer[
In cultivation, Cactus plants generally will not succeed in moist climates. They usually require a sunny position in a well-drained, circumneutral soil and to be kept more or less dry in the dormant season[
]. The pyriform fruit is 30 - 40mm. long, scarlet, spiny, the spines deciduous[
]. Fruits about 5cm long, ovoid, the ripe pulp red, juicy, sweet and edible, the rind red when ripe[
]. Each plant may produce a dozen or more potato-like tuberous roots strung on clusters of slender connecting roots, though plants in southwestern Sonora sometimes have up to 70 or more tuberous roots[
The tuber is ground and heated then used as a poultice to reduce swellings as well as to help harden the fontanel of a
A cloth saturated with the juice of the crushed roots is sometimes applied to the chest to relieve inflammation of the lungs[