Autor: (Berger) Britton & Rose
“thin cereus”, referring to the thin ribs of some species in this genus.
A genus of shrubby or treelike plants with, if the latter, a woody trunk densely branched; branches erect, pendulous or prostrate, usually segmented and with well defined, thin ribs, with notched margins. Spines long and aciculate.
Flowers diurnal or nocturnal, remaining open in the morning, apical, subapical, tubular and bell-shaped or cupulate, solitary or in groups, whitish, pale green, yellow or pink, pollinated by bats (Monophyllus redmani and Phyllonycteris poeyi) or hymenoptera. Floral tube rather short, usually spiny and sometimes scaly. Fruits globose to elongated, fleshy, usually spiny, with deciduous spines when ripe. Seeds more or less ovate, with a rough to irregular texture, warty, black.
The genus Leptocereus grows on coastal plains, also in limestone mountains, in semi-deserts and savannas, in dry subtropical forests or tropical rainforests among bushes, on friable cliffs near the ocean (L grantianus), or on karst ≪dog’s teeth≫ formations (L wrightii), at the edge of steep cliffs, from sea level up to approximately 100 m or more (data missing). Some species of the genus are threatened by the destruction of their habitat (eg. L. quadricostatus, L. scopulophilus, L. wrightii).
Cuba (Camaguey, Cienfuegos, Granma, Habana, Pinar del Rio, Santiago of Cuba), Haiti, Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico (Culebra Island), Dominican Republic (La Romana).
Currently 15 possible species:
– Leptocereus arboreus Britton & Rose 1912
– Leptocereus assurgens (C.Wrlght & Griseb.) Britton & Rose 1909
– Leptocereus carinatus Areces 1993
– Leptocereus ekmanii (Werderm.) F.M.Knuth 1935
– Leptocereus grantianus Britton 1933
– Leptocereus leonii* Britton & Rose 1912
– Leptocereus maxonii Britton & Rose 1920
– Leptocereus paniculatus (Lam.) D.R.Hunt 1991 (ex Neoabbottia)
– Leptocereus quadricostatus* (Bello) Britton & Rose 1913
– Leptocereus santamarinae Areces 1992
– Leptocereus scopulophilus Areces 1993
– Leptocereus sylvestris Britton & Rose 1920
– Leptocereus weingartianus (Hartmann ex Dams) Britton & Rose 1920
– Leptocereus wrightii Leon 1940