Scientific name: Stetsonia
coryne (Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose
toothpick cactus (Stetsonia coryne) is the sole species of its genus.
Garden origin (Nursery
The natural plant originates from the low northwest deserts of Argentina
Conservation status: Listed in
CITES appendix 2.
Common English Names include:
Crested Toothpick cactus
standard Stetsonia coryne is a large, tree-like
columnar cactus that grows to a
height of 3-10 m tall. It develops a sturdy trunk and with time can
produce numerous arm-like branches. It
is among the most famous cacti for the fiercely spines that cover the
trunk and should prove an interesting and eye-catching plant for the
specialist collector and for those wanting a somewhat different plant.
The beautiful crested form is very rare in collection and highly priced
for its sculptural shape and long spines. Older crested plant grown
outdoor in the ground (in mild areas) can reach an imposing size (up to
3 m tall and in diameter, or more )
Spines: Start out creamy-white and age to black, sturdy enough to
be used as toothpicks, hence the common name.
Stems: Deeply ribbed, with new growth emerging purplish
blue-green and ageing to olive green.
Flowers: Large white tinted pink, night blooming that remain open
Blooming season: Mature plants
(more than 25 years old) bloom in spring or summer .