«Fruit of Aria», genus named so because of its analogy with the elongated fruits of Aria, the ancient Greek name for
the cork oak (not the mountain ash or rowan tree, as often reported In the literature).
A genus of compact, solitary plants, or growing In small clumps, geophytic, having a tap root and curious geometrical tubercles, without ribs and without spines, with strongly woolly areoles near the apex.
Flowers diurnal, self sterile, shortly funnel-shaped, variable in colours, white, yellow or pink to magenta, pollinated
by insects. Fruits naked, fleshy, white to pink, drying when ripe. Seeds tuberculate, pyriform (pear-shaped), black.
The genus Aríocarpus grows in a very scattered habitat, between northern Mexico and the southeastern United
States, in the Chihuahuan desert and eastward, along the Rio Grande, from 50 m up to 2200 m in altitude. It is adapted to arid areas with low vegetation cover ( , chaparral), often growing in full sun, or in the shade of shrubs, almost completely buried in the ground, mostly in cracks of rocks where it captures moisture, on hills, limestone miounds or terraces (pH7-8) or schistose (shale), sandy, muddy, gravelly or rocky alluvial plains predominantly with limestone, marl or clay-sand. A very mimetic genus, becoming almost invisible in its environment, which, in the absence of spines, has a corneal surface and alkaloids that allow an effective passive struggle against herbivorous.
Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo-León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas), USA

Currently 7 recognised species + one subspecies:
– Aríocarpus agavoides* (Castañeda) E.F.Anderson 1962
– Ariocarpus agavoides subsp. sanluisensis  Sotom., Arred., Sánchez Barra & Mart.Mend.
– Aríocarpus bravoanus* Hernández & E.F.Anderson 1992
– Aríocarpus bravoanus subsp. hintonii (Stuppy & Taylor) Anderson & Fitz Maurice 1997
– Aríocarpus fissuratus* (Engelm.) K.Schum. 1894
– Ariocarpus fissuratus subsp. lloydii  ( Rose ) U.Guzmán 2003
– Aríocarpus kotschoubeyanus* (Lem. ex K.Schum.) K.Schum. 1898
– Aríocarpus retusus* Scheidweiler 1838
– Aríocarpus scaphirostris* Boedeker 1930
– Aríocarpus trigonus* (F.A.C.Weber) K.Schum. 1898

References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)


Autor: Lemaire

“impenetrable, tangled cactus”, because of the countless tangled stems of the genus.
A genus of epiphytic or lithophytic plants with long crawling or hanging cylindrical stems, possessing aerial roots. Spines short and aciculate.
Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, more or less zygomorphic, lasting for several days, pink to scarlet red, with a hairy resceptacle, pollinated by hummingbirds. Fruits rather small, spherical, juicy. Seeds shiny, dark brown.
The genus Aporocactus grows in open woodlands consisting of oaks (Quercus sp.), epiphytic on trees, in the mountains of central and southern Mexico, in the hollows of branches in humus pockets, also sometimes epilithic in the cracks of rocks, from 200 to 2700 m in altitude.
Mexico (Hidalgo, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Veracruz).

Currently 2 recognised species:
– Aporocactus flagelliformis * (L.) Lem. 1860
– Aporocactus martianus* (Zucc.) Britton & Rose 1920

References: “TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE” – ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)




Britton & Rose

Originates from the Greek words ancistron, meaning fishhook, and kaktos, meaning thistle, because of the strongly hooked central spines, characteristic of the genus.
A genus of globose to elongated plants, solitary, sometimes constricted at the base and having a tap root. Ribs more or less tuberculate, tubercles with nectar glands, one of the central spines, usually the longest, always hooked.
Flowers diurnal, rather small, self-sterile, creamy colour to greenish, lemon yellow or pale pink, usually pollinated by insects. Fruits clavate, fleshy, greenish. Seeds brownish to black, finely papillose.
The genus Ancistrocactus grows between the southeast of the United States and the northeast of Mexico, from 20 m up to 1700 m in  ltitude, in arid regions, on sedimentary, alluvial, limestone, sandy, clay or rocky soils, including gypsum soils (Ancistrocactus brevihamatus) on hills, in cracks in the rocks, in the shade of shrubs and among grasses.
Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas), USA (Texas).

currently 3 recognised species plus a subspecies:
– Ancistrocactus brevihamatus* (Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Ancistrocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii (W.T.Marshall) Doweld 1999
– Ancistrocactus megarhizus (Rose) Britton & Rose 1923
– Ancistrocactus Scheeri* (Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose 1923
*Note that A megarhizus is sometimes considered a subspecies of A. scheeri.


References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)



Airampoa microdiscaAutor: Fric

Taken from the native name of the plant (in Quechua, ayrampo, airampo, ayrampu means garnet red), whose fruits are used as a colouring in food, and as a dye.
A genus of small, low, strongly articulated and compact opuntias, forming small cushions. Spines finely aciculate, of variable size and colour, glochids present, small cylindrical deciduous leaves. Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, bell-shaped, of variable colour, yellow, orange, red, carmine red to purplish red, rarely white, stigma pistil emerald green, pollinated by wasps and bees. Fruits somewhat fleshy, laterally dehiscent, yellow to red, with red pulp serving as a colouring agent. Seeds rather small, flattened, kidney-shaped, more or less wrinkled, straw-coloured, but often strongly coloured by the pigment of the pulp, the aril being almost naked and rough. Dispersal provided (amongst others) by Rheas (Pterocnemia pennata, Faúndez 2012).
The genus Airampoa grows mainly in the Andean Precordillera areas, in the puna and altiplano, between 1800 and 4000 m in altitude, on gravelly or sandy soils, at ground level, forming colonies, sometimes growing under shrubs, mostly in full sun unprotected, and with poor surrounding vegetation.
Argentina (Catamarca, Jujuy, Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan, Tucumán),

Currently 11 species, among which some are more or less doubtful (following Doweld, 2002):
– Airampoa albisaetacens (Backeb.) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa armata (Backeb.) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa ayrampo* (Azara) Doweld 2002 (ex Tunilla soehrensii)
– Airampoa chilensis (Ritter) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa corrugata* (Salm-Dyck) Doweld 2002 (ex Tunilla longlspina)
– Airampoa erectoclada* (Backeb.) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa microdisca (F.A.C.Weber) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa minuscula (Backeb.) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa orurensis* (Cárdenas) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa picardoi (Marnier-Lapostolle) Doweld 2002
– Airampoa tilcarensis (Backeb.) Doweld 2002

References: “TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE” – ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)



Acharagma roseanumAutor: (N. P. Taylor) A. D. Zimmerman

“No groove”, because of the absence of an areolar groove (viz a viz Coryphantha and Escobaría, whose areoles have a groove).
A genus of small solitary or caespitose plants, globose to shortly cylindrical. Tubercles having neither nectar glands, nor areolar groove. Spines densely covering the epidermis.
Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, apical, funnel-shaped, creamy white or yellow, tinged pinkish to reddish, pollinated by insects. Fruits naked and indehiscent, floral remains persistent. Seeds brown to black, finely foveolate (pitted with very small holes).
The genus Acharagma has a very restricted distribution, and grows only in the northeast of Mexico, in semi-desert, from 1000 to 2650 m in altitude, among shrubs, in the shade of bushes, but more often in direct sun, near rivers, on rocky limestone, sandstone or pure gypsum soils, in mountains, on hills, on rocky hillsides covered with a xerophytic vegetation and often in the cracks of cliffs.
Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo-León).

Currently 3 recognised species, and one doubtful subspecies:
– Acharagma aguirreanum* (Glass & Foster) Glass 1998
– Acharagma huasteca Elhart 2011
– Acharagma roseanum* (Boedeker) Anderson 1999
– Acharagma roseanum subsp. galeanense* (Haugg) Hunt 2002

References: “TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE” – ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)