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Visionary Cactus Guide


C. gigantea ( Englemann ) -

(Saguaro, Sahuaro, Pitahaya) This species is a huge columnar, candelabra shaped cactus growing to 12 meters in height, and living as long as 200 years. Slow growing when young, it may be only 15 cm high after 10 years. Native to Arizona, Southeastern California and the Sonora desert in Mexico. It is day flowering species with 12 cm long white, funnel shaped blooms. First described in 1848.

Not a traditional entheogen, it does however contain pharmacologically active alkaloids. Used by the Seri Indians of the Sonora medicinally to combat rheumatism. Also held in high esteem by the Papago Indians. The fruit of this cactus is valued as a food and in wine-making.

Contains: arizonine, carnegine, dopamine (.26%), heliamine, dehydroheliamine, 3-4-dimethoxy-phenethylamine, salsolidine, dehydrosalsolidine.