CORYPHANTHA

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Autor: (Engelmann) Lemaire

• ETYMOLOGY
“Flower in the summit”, because flowers of this genus appear in a typical way at the top of the plants.
• DESCRIPTION
A genus of solitary plants or eventually forming compact clumps branching from the base. Stems globose to cylindrical, tubercles often very prominent, elongated and rounded or pyramidal, with a furrow. Areoles situated at the top of tubercles; spines variable in size and robustness, often curved, rarely hooked. Axils usually woolly, especially towards the apex.
Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, rather large, appearing at the apex of stems, in the axils of the young tubercles, funnelshaped to bell-shaped, usually light yellow, but can be also creamy-white, pink magenta to pink purple, pollinated by bees (Ceratina sp., Diadasia rinconis). Fruits globose to elongated, naked, juicy, indehiscent, mostly green or yellowish, floral remains persistent. Seeds egg-shaped to kidney-shaped, shiny or matt, with a finely reticulate testa, often brown, also black.
• HABITAT
The genus Coryphantha shows in some taxa, a large variability, and grows in small scattered, often isolated colonies, frequently in loamy meadows or dry prairies, among the matorral (scrub of sub-shrubs typical of dry regions of northern Mexico), especially in the Chihuahuan desert, also at the edge of cliffs, on steep slopes in pockets of humus, under the shade in deciduous forests, in valleys, on also clayey, gypsum or volcanic, often limestone soils, from 500 m up to 2700 m in altitude, together with cacti and other succulents.
• DISTRIBUTION
Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nuevo-Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Zacatecas), USA (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas).

Currently 47 recognised species + 8 subspecies:
– Coryphantha clavata* (Scheidw.) Backeb. 1942
– Coryphantha clavata subsp. stipitata (Scheldweller) Dicht & Luthy 2001
– Coryphantha compacta* (Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha cornifera* (DC.) Lem. 1868
– Coryphantha delaetiana (Quehl) A.Berger 1929
– Coryphantha delicata* Bremer 1979
– Coryphantha difficilis* (Quehl) Orcutt 1926
– Coryphantha durangensis* (Runge ex K.Schum.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha durangensis subsp. cuencamensis (Bremer) Dicht & Luthy 2001
– Coryphantha echinoidea* (Quehl) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha echinus* (Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha elephantidens* (Lem.) Lem. 1868
– Coryphantha elephantidens subsp. bumamma (Ehrenberg) Dicht & Luthy 2001
– Coryphantha elephantidens subsp. greenwoodii (Bravo) Dicht & Luthy 2001
– Coryphantha erecta* (Lem. ex Pfeiff.) Lem. 1869
– Coryphantha georgii* Boed. 1931
– Coryphantha glanduligera* Lem. 1868
– Coryphantha glassii Dicht & Luthy 2000
– Coryphantha gracilis Bremer & A.B.Lau 1977
– Coryphantha hintoniorum Dicht & Luthy 1998 (= C. roederiana?)
– Coryphantha hintoniorum subsp. geoffreyi Dicht & Luthy 2003
– Coryphantha jalpanensis* Bremer 1977
– Coryphantha kracikii Halda, Chalupa & Kupcak 2002
– Coryphantha laui Bremer 1979
– Coryphantha longicornis* Boed. 1931
– Coryphantha maiz-tablasensis* Schwarz ex Backeb. 1949
– Coryphantha melleospina Bravo 1954
– Coryphantha neglecta* Bremer 1979
– Coryphantha nickelsiae* (K.Brandegee) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha octacantha* (DC.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha ottonis* (Pfeiff.) Lem. 1868
– Coryphantha pallida* Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha pallida subsp. calipensis (Bravo) Dicht & Luthy 2001
– Coryphantha poselgeriana* (A.Dietr.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha potosiana* (Jacobi) Glass & Foster 1970
– Coryphantha pseudoechinus* Boed. 1929
– Coryphantha pseudonickelsiae Backeb. 1949
– Coryphantha pulleineana* (Backeb.) Glass 1968
– Coryphantha pycnacantha* (C.Mart.) Lem. 1868
– Coryphantha radians (DC.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha ramillosa* Cutak 1942
– Coryphantha recurvata* (Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha reduncispina Boed. 1933
– Coryphantha retusa* (Pfeiff.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha robustispina* (Schott ex Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha robustispina subsp. scheeri* (Muehlenpf.) N.P.Taylor 1998
– Coryphantha robustispina subsp. uncinata* (Benson) N.P.Taylor 1998
– Coryphantha salinensis* (Poselg.) A.D.Zimmermann ex Dicht & A .D.Luthy 1998
– Coryphantha sulcata* (Engelm.) Britton & Rose 1923
– Coryphantha sulcolanata (Lem.) Lem. 1868
– Coryphantha tripugionacantha* A.B.Lau 1988
– Coryphantha vaupeliana Boed. 1928
– Coryphantha voghterriana* Werderm. & Boed. 1932
– Coryphantha werdermannii* Boed. 1929
– Coryphantha wohlschlageri* E.Holzeis 1990

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

 

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