Organ Pipe Cactus
This columnar cactus is the second largest in the U.S. (next to the Saguaro) growing as tall as 23 feet. Instead of having a central stem, however, a cluster of 5 to 20 slender branches grow from a point at ground level and curve gracefully upward.
These water-storing trunks are about 6 inches in diameter and have 12 to 17 deep-green, rounded ribs. The areoles are set close together with 9 or 10 brown, 3/8-inch radial spines that turn gray with age.
Fruits lose their spines at maturity, opening to display an edible red pulp. This fruit has provided a food source to Native Americans for centuries. The pulp can be eaten as is, made into jelly or fermented into a beverage.
In a small area of the Sonoran Desert only from southwestern Arizona to western Sonora, Mexico. Alos see Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
On south-facing, hot, sunny slopes from 1,000 to 3,500 feet.
Lavender-white flowers, 2-1/2 inches long, bloom at night, laterally near the apex of the stems, May through July.
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