A painting to come from this awesome cactus

20160906_173311 close up cactus on our hike Out hiking the other day, I see this cactus. Now keep in mind I am in the desert hiking all the time. Always looking for subjects for my next painting. I see this amazing plant and instantly think OMG this is beautiful. What the heck kind of plant is it? Ya, Ya, I know, it is some sort of barrel cactus or maybe a small saguaro. I don’t care the complexity is amazing. Take a couple of shots with the cell phone then off I am to get my hike on.

Now some time goes by. I forget about the cactus then see the photos on my phone. Same thing runs through my head. Got to paint this thing.  Then, this morning I am thinking I need to find this on the internet. After an hour of looking. I am still not convinced I have the right one. I finally come across a couple websites that have photos of the same cactus.

Here is a little of what I found.


Pachycereus pringlei  (S. Watson) Britton & Rose 1909 (Cardón, Mexican Giant Cardón)

Named for: Cyrus Guernsey Pringle (1838 – 1911) American botanist, explorer & plant breeder.

Common name: Cardón from the Spanish cardo = thistle

This is one of the largest cacti in the world, whose trunk with 11 – 17 ribs typically grows over 30ft tall and 3 – 4ft in diameter. Specimens have been recorded as growing 63ft tall during a lifespan of hundreds of years. Small specimens, typically seen in glass-house collections, are very spiny with 20 – 30 gray spines per areole but the spines are mostly lost as the trunk grows above the reach of herbivores. Mature specimens have side branches to the trunk forming a candelabra of branches. White flowers are produced in the Spring followed by tan colored, spiny fruits.


Native to the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. Symbiotic nitrogen-fixing micro-organisms on the roots allow this cactus to grow without soil, even on bare rock. The spiny fruits contain edible pulp. This cactus produces alkaloids and a slice was traditionally used to treat rheumatism and aches.


Pachycereus  (A. Berger) Britton & Rose 1909
Name: Greek pakhus = thick + Latin cereus = candle
The are 9 – 12 species of Pachycereus, whose stout ribbed stems form columnar shrubs and very large tree-like cacti branching well above the ground to form a candelabra. Young growth is often fiercely spined, but mature growth above the reach of herbivores much less spiny. The large tubular flowers have a hairy or scaly brownish outer surface and white to pale pink interiors.

Native to Mexico, Baja California and the Southern edge of Arizona. Slow growing Pachycereus pringlei (Cardón) is fairly common in cultivation as an immature plant. Some species contain toxic, psychoactive alkaloids and may have been used in native ceremonies.


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I’m going to paint this; I cannot get it out of my head. When that happens, painting is soon around the corner.  some place in these photos there is a grand painting.

On another note this old guy has gone to another place , moment of silence…20160920_150749