Pachycereus Pringlei | Mexican Giant Cardon | Elephant Cactus
A Giant cardon specimen is the tallest living cactus in the world, with a recorded height of 19.2 m (63 ft 0 in), with a stout trunk up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in diameter bearing several erect branches. In overall appearance, it resembles the related saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea), but differs in being more heavily branched and having branching nearer the base of the stem and fewer ribs on the stems.
Pachycereus pringlei, also known as Mexican giant cardon or elephant cactus, is a species of cactus native to northwestern Mexico in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora. It is commonly known as cardón, a name derived from the Spanish word cardo, meaning “thistle”. Large stands of this cactus still exist, but many have been destroyed as land has been cleared for cultivation in Sonora.The fruit of this cactus was an important food for the Seri people in Sonora, who call the cactus xaasj. A symbiotic relationship with bacterial and fungal colonies on its roots allows P. pringlei to grow on bare rock even where no soil is available at all, as the bacteria can fix nitrogen from the air and break down the rock to produce nutrients.