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Stetsonia coryne (Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose 1920

Toothpick cactus, cardón, tuna

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy

About plant names...

Toothpick cactus is native to dry, regions of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraquay. Sources differ considerably on elevations at which these cacti are found, ranging from "low deserts" to "high arid regions." It is not found in the wild in North America. The genus, Stetsonia, honors the American lawyer and enthusiastic botanical explorer, Francis Lynde Stetson; coryne, meaning "stick" or "club," probably refers to the clublike appearance of the stems.

Identification: Plants form large shrubs 16-26′ (5-8 m) high, with multiple thick trunks. Stems are bluish gray, 3½-4″ (9-10 cm) in diameter, with 8-9 ribs and few segments. Spines are initially yellow, becoming black, with a central spine up to 1¾″ (5 cm) and 7-9 shorter surrounding spines. Funnel-shaped white flowers with yellow-white centers, up to 6″ (15 cm) in size, open at night. Fruits are globular, smooth (no spines), juicy, yellowish or reddish, 1¾-2″ (5-6 cm) long × 1½″ (4 cm) around.

Stetsonia coryne (toothpick cactus, cardón, tuna)

Toothpick cactus (Stetsonia coryne); Cactus family (Cactaceae); native to Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia. Photographed at the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ. By Dave Pape.


Anderson, Edward F., The Cactus Family, Timber Press, 2001, p. 650

Online References:


Dr. Giuseppe Mazza's PhotoMazza.com site

George and Audrey DeLange's Arizona wildflower site

Cactus Art: the World of Cacti & Succulents

Cereus coryne Salm-Dyck 1850

Cereus chacoanus Vaupel 1916


Stetsonia coryne description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Stetsonia coryne (toothpick cactus, cardón, tuna)

5/25/2009 · Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, Ari­zona

Range: Zones 9-11:

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