“Hidden candle”, because the genus was supposedly a long time unnoticed in a region nevertheless explored many times, the Chiapas, in Mexico.
A genus of epiphytic, climbing to pendulous plants, forming clumps of flattened stems, deeply lobed, in zigzag fashion, with a blunt apex. Tiny areoles, as well as spines, the latter mostly in sets of 3.
Flowers nocturnal, self-sterile, inner tepals white, outer tepals purplish, fragrant, pollinated by sphingideae and bats. Fruits egg-shaped, densely spiny, green. Seeds black.
The monotypic genus Cryptocereus grows in a limited area of southern Mexico, as epiphytic in tropical rainforests between 180 m and 800 m in altitude.
Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Veracruz).
Currently 1 only recognised species:
– Cryptocereus anthonyanus* Alexander 1950