Autor: (Britton & Rose) MacDougall & Miranda
“Winged Cereus”, referring to the angled, thin ribs of the genus.
A genus of erect columnar plants, unbranched or only slightly (from 1.50 m high), being able to reach up to 8 m high, ribs 3-4, strongly angled and thin, with a bluish green to greyish green epidermis. Areoles few, widely spaced, woolly. Spines, approximately 10-12, short, aciculate. Probable dispersal through ornithochory.
Flowers nocturnal, self sterile, cylindrical to shortly funnel-shaped, only one per areole, whitish to pale greenish yellow, with pale green imbricated scales, strongly recurved, nauseous odour, pollinated by bats. Fruits globose, scaly and spiny, pale red, with floral remains persistent. Seeds large, brown, smooth and shiny.
The genus Pterocereus grows endemically in southern Mexico, practically at sea level, in the deciduous dry forests of Yucatan, and uses the surrounding vegetation to grow first in the shade of plant defenders (nodricism), then, to remain erect. It lives together with other cacti such as Acanthocereus, Hylocereus, Mammillaria, Opuntia, Selenicereus and Stenocereus.
Mexique (Campeche, Chiapas, Yucatan).
Currently only one recognised species + a possible subspecies:
– Pterocereus gaumeri* (Britton & Rose) MacDougall & Miranda 1954
– Pterocereus gaumeri subsp. foetidus* (MacDougall & Miranda) Arias & Terrazas 2009