The Apple cactus, also known as the Peruvian apple, is a large and bold cactus that develops numerous upright stems 10-12 ft. tall and taller. These stems are pale green, have 5-9 ribs with a few sharp spines. Large tubular flowers with white petals grow 5-7 in. long occur more than one from spring through summer. These flowers open during the night; round orange-red fruit grow to 2 in. in size and are highly edible.
In Inland Empire landscapes and gardens, the Apple cactus becomes a massive plant with bold silhouette character that makes it an effective specimen plant for large spaces. It is easily suited to Southwestern and Mediterranean style gardens where it is adapted to full sun and little summer water after it becomes established. It can be grown in containers and kept to smaller sizes, as well as planted among boulders, on slopes and in succulent gardens. Good drainage and avoiding prolonged soil moisture is the key to good health and growth.