Genus honouring Lyman David Benson (1909-1993), North American botanist specializing in cacti (see portrait above, public domain).
A genus of terrestrial or epiphytic plants, forming erect or hanging bushy stems, with mesotonic ramifications, with stems usually flattened, notched, sometimes wavy, having spines in the areoles, as well as bristles or wool.
Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, appearing laterally, narrowly bell-shaped, orange, purple red to intense magenta, or white [L. brevispina), some (L. micrantha) pollinated by hummingbirds. Fruits globose or angular, usually opaque, white to pinkish, greenish or reddish-brown. Seeds blackish-brown, shiny.
The genus Lymanbensonia grows in the shade epiphytically in trees, or on rocks (epilithic), from 1700 m up to 2500 m in altitude.
Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz), Ecuador (Loja), Peru (Amazonas, Junin, Puno).
Currently 4 recognised species:
– Lymanbensonia brevispina* (Barthlott) Barthlott & N.Korotkova 2010
– Lymanbensonia crenata (Britt.) Doweld 2001
– Lymanbensonia incachacana* (Cardenas) Barthlott & N.Korotkova 2010
– Lymanbensonia micrantha* (Vaup.) Kimnach 1984 (non Rhipsalis micrantha)