Stetsonia coryne

toothpick cactus
Muted blue grey cactus thrives in pots and with good drainage. Becomes branched and treelike with time. Night blooming white flowers.
Stetsonia coryne
synonyms Cereus coryne
height 12–20ft
width 10–15ft
tolerates Drought, Deer , Heat, Pots, Salt
This cactus is from the deserts South America and as such likes to go totally bone dry between waterings, making it very low-maintenance. If you see your cactus begin to shrivel or lose firmness, your cactus is likely totally dry and should be watered. To get good healthy growth your plant doesn’t want to sit around totally dried out during it’s growing season. Once it is dry, water it.

This cactus comes from an area with summer rainfall and is actively growing during that time, when it is forgiving of overwatering errors. During winter dormancy it should be kept extra dry and won’t tolerate overwatering.

Remember that if kept in a small pot your plant will want more frequent watering.
exposure Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin S South America
13, 16, 17, 19–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

This plant is likely very tolerant of high levels of salt, as it naturally grows along the margins of salt flats in South America. It also grows in heavy clay in its native range, but won’t tolerate this in areas with winter rainfall.
Feed only during summer months as encouraging lush growth during its winter rest period can cause disease.
This cactus is reportedly hardy to around 20F if kept dry during winter chill.

Special Interest

The species name ‘coryne’ means ‘club’ in Greek. Just imagine the spiked club one of these arms would make!

The toothpick cactus makes edible fruit with a tangy citrus flavor.