EPIPHYLLUM

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Autor: Haworth

• ETYMOLOGY
“On the leaf” referring to the flowers which seemed, to early botanists, to appear on leaves, in fact modified stems (phylloclades).
• DESCRIPTION
A genus of usually epiphytic plants, with flattened stems having the aspect and the function of leaves (phylloclades) often with adventitious roots, with variable margins according to species, crenulate, serrate, toothed, lobed etc.
Flowers nocturnal, self-sterile, funnel-shaped, with a very long floral tube, white or pale yellow, very fragrant, pollinated by moths (Sphingideae) and bats (Artibeus jamaicensis and A. lituratus for E. hookeri). Fruits egg-shaped or oblong, fleshy, often with well marked edges. Seeds covered by mucilage, kidney-shaped, black, shiny. Dispersion of seeds provided by mammals (bats and small monkeys).
• HABITAT
The genus Epiphyllum has a wide geographic distribution, and grows epiphytically on trees, in tropical dry forests, in the shade, in hollows with accumulated decaying plant material, from the sea level up to 2200 m in altitude. It is sometimes found in swampy areas, clinging to tree trunks (Pachira aquatica) and mangroves (Rhizophora mangle), for example in southern Mexico in Yucatan, also in mountain areas and volcanic chains.
• DISTRIBUTION
Argentina (Misiones), Bolivia (La Paz, Santa Cruz), Brazil (Acre, Bahia, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro), Caribbean islands, Belize, Colombia (Antioquia, Caldas, Choco, Cundinamarca, Huila, Magdalena, Quindio, Tolima, Valle), Costa Rica (Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose), Cuba, El Salvador (Ahuachapan), Ecuador (Azuay, Canar, Chimborazo, Guayas, Los Rios, Manabi), Guatemala (Alta & Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solola, Suchitepequez, Totonicapan), Guyana, Guyana Francesa, Honduras (Atlantida, Francisco Morazan), Jamaica, Mexico (Chiapas, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico DF, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco), Nicaragua, Panama (Bocas del Toro, Colon), Paraguay (Alto Parana, Amambay, Canindeyu, Central, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Misiones, Paraguari), Peru (Amazonas, Cajamarca, Cuzco, Junin, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin), Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago, USA (Florida), Venezuela (Amazonas, Anzoategui, Aragua, Monagas, Sucre, Yaracuy, Zulia).

Currently 12 species + 6 subspecies (according to Bauer 2003):
– Epiphyllum anguliger (Lem.) D.Don 1855
– Epiphyllum baueri Dorsch 2003
– Epiphyllum cartagense (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose 1913
– Epiphyllum crenatum (Lindi.) D.Don 1855
– Epiphyllum crenatum subsp. kimnachii (Kimnach) Guzman 2003
– Epiphyllum grandilobum (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose 1913
– Epiphyllum hookeri (Link & Otto) Haw. 1829
– Epiphyllum hookeri subsp. columbiense (Weber) Bauer 2003
– Epiphyllum hookeri subsp. guatemalense* (Britton & Rose) Bauer 2003
– Epiphyllum hookeri subsp. pittieri (Weber) Bauer 2003
– Epiphyllum laui Kimnach 1990
– Epiphyllum lepidocarpum (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose 1913
– Epiphyllum oxypetalum* (DC.) Haw. 1829
– Epiphyllum phyllanthus* (L .) Haw. 1826
– Epiphyllum phyllanthus subsp. rubrocoronatum (Kimnach) Bauer 2003
– Epiphyllum pumilum Britton & Rose 1913
– Epiphyllum thomasianum (K.Schum.) Britton & Rose 1913
– Epiphyllum thomasianum subsp. costaricense (Weber) Bauer 2003

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

 

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