Ce"re*us (?), n. [L., a wax candle, fr. cera wax. So named from the resemblance of one species to the columnar shape of a wax candle.] Bot.
A genus of plants of the Cactus family. They are natives of America, from California to Chili.
⇒ Although several species flower in the night, the name Night-blooming cereus is specially applied to the Cereus grandiflorus, which is cultivated for its beautiful, shortlived flowers. The Cereus giganteus, whose columnar trunk is sometimes sixty feet in height, is a striking feature of the scenery of New Mexico, Texas, etc.x3c;--saguaro?= Carnegiea gigantea--x3e;
© Webster 1913.