Journal Of Applied Horticulture ISSN: 0972-1045


Ahmed A. ElObeidy

Department of Fruit Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.

Key words: Apple cactus, Cereus, drought resistance, hyper-arid environment, water use efficiency.

Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2006, volume 8, issue 1, pages 45-49.

Abstract: Introducing new crop with high water use efficiency into the hyper-arid environment will participate in curb rising demand of water. Apple cactus (Cereus species) characteristics fit with most of the requirements of a drought tolerant crop with very high water-use efficiency. Several Cereus species were introduced into a desert, characterized with rare rainfall and high temperatures. The introduced fruiting species were Cereus hexagonus, C. peruvianus, C. peruvianus monstrose and C. validus. C. pachanoi was introduced as a rootstock. C. peruvianus cuttings survived storage up to eight months. Horizontal position of the cuttings during storage encouraged the development of lateral branches. Plants were propagated by cuttings, acclimatized and then transplanted into the field in the desert. Growth and development of the introduced species were assessed under the new environment. All the introduced species grew successfully except C. validus that was eliminated during the first summer. C. peruvianus monstrose was characterized with dramatic contraction of the stem in the dry condition. The main stem of C. peruvianus, C. peruvianus monstrose, C. hexagonus and C. pachanoi grew 9.2, 10.2, 8.1 and 15 cm/month, respectively. C. peruvianus developed the highest number of sprouts. C. Peruvianus, C. peruvianus monstrose and C. hexagonus unite with the C. pachanoi to form successful grafts with percentage of success 80, 53 and 86.5, respectively. C. validus failed completely to unite with C. pachanoi. C. peruvianus and C. peruvianus monstrose were the most promising in the new hyper-arid environment in terms of adaptability and healthy growth.

Journal of Applied Horticulture