Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Hylocereus triangularis (L.) Britt. & Rose

Frost tender, climbing cactus with jointed, triangular stems and, in summer, fragrant white flowers. To 4m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Don describes C. triangularis Haw., a native of Mexico, as a creeping shrub, first cultivated in Europe in 1690.  He also describes as very similar, C. undatus Haw., a native of China [although also from the West Indies], a much larger plant introduced in 1828.  Cereus triangularis is figured in the British Florist [BF pl. 11/1841], and C. triangularis major, synonym C. napoleonis, in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine: ‘We received this plant at the Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, from Mr. M’Kay, at Clapton, about ten years ago.  It has repeatedly formed buds, but no blossoms expanded till now (September, 1835).  The flower opened in the morning, and closed towards the afternoon; it is very like that of C. grandiflorus, and is slightly, not very agreeably, perfumed.  The far greater length of its joints, their different form, and the shape of the edges between the tubercles, prevent me from considering it a variety of C. triangularis.’  [BM t.3458/1836]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.304/1843].


Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) Britt. & Rose (1918) BM = Cereus triangularis Hort., the very similar plant referred to by Don.  This plant is figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine [BM t.1884/1817] and the Botanical Register [BR f.1807/1835] and may well be the plant grown by Macarthur.

Published Mar 02, 2010 - 03:48 PM | Last updated Jul 15, 2010 - 05:16 PM

Figured is a spiny cactus with jointed, triangular stems and large white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3458, 1836.

Hylocereus triangularis (L.) Britt. & Rose | BM t.3458/1836 | BHL

Family Cactaceae
Region of origin

West Indies

  • Cactus triangularis L.
  • Cereus triangularis Haw.
  • Cereus compressus Mill.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Cereus triangularis 

Confidence level medium