Key tree cactus
Pilosocereus robinii

Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub. Because of its rarity and the chance of genetic contamination, it is not recommended for general landscape use in South Florida.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Very rare in coastal hammocks in the Florida Keys.
Grown by enthusiasts and botanical gardens.
Large shrub or small tree.
Typically 5-15 feet in South Florida.
Growth Rate:
Florida Keys; West Indies. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderately low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water, but tolerates short term inunation by salt water from storm surge with minimal damage.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Flowering Season:
All year.
Large, red berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed and cuttings.
Material from both South Florida and elsewhere in the West Indies is in cultivation in South Florida. Horticultural synonyms: P. bahamensis, P. robinii.

For more information, visit our Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online.

Keith A. Bradley
in habitat, Abaco Island, Bahamas, 2006
Roger L. Hammer
in habitat, Florida Keys