ISOLATOCEREUS

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Autor: (Backeberg) Backeberg

• ETYMOLOGY
“Isolated candle”, because the populations of the genus are very scattered, well separated and isolated from each
other.
• DESCRIPTION
A genus of treelike plants, columnar, heavily branched, developing a short trunk. Stems with few ribs (5-7), areoles close-set, spines aciculate.
Flowers nocturnal, self-sterile, remaining open the following morning, numerous, appearing in chains on the tallest stems, tubular, white with outer tepals reddish, pollinated by bats (Choeronycteris mexicana, Leptonycteris curasoae, L. nivalis). Fruits egg-shaped, unarmed, red – orange with red pulp, dehiscent. Seeds small, elongated, warty, shiny, black.
• HABITAT
The monotypic genus Isolatocereus grows endemically in Central Mexico, in valleys or on hills of basalt, forming true forests, in a vegetation of matorral, between 300 m and 2300 m in altitude. It is used locally for making quickset hedges.
• DISTRIBUTION
Mexico (Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico D.F., Michoacan, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Zacatecas).

Currently only one recognised species:
– Isolatocereus dumortieri* (Scheidw.) Backeb. 1942

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

 

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