Organ Pipe Cactus
© 2005 Erin Willett
The Organ Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi) is easy to identify because it looks different from all other tall cacti. Instead of having one main stem with branching arms, it has many stems that arise from the base at ground level. Each stem is approximately 7 inches in diameter with 12-18 ribs (pleats).
This cactus prefers areas where the soil is sandy and well drained. It is normally found on sunny south-facing slopes below 3300 feet in elevation.
They are found in a small area of southwest Arizona, south into Sonora, Mexico, the southern portion of the Baja Peninsula, and a small part of both the states of Chihuahua and Sinaloa, Mexico.
On average they are between 9 to 11 feet tall. Occasionally they can be found over 20 feet tall.