JASMINOCEREUS

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Autor: Britton & Rose

• ETYMOLOGY
“jasmine-like cereus”, with reference to the flowers in this genus, probably more related to the flavour of the flowers than with their similarity, but not specified by the authors.
• DESCRIPTION
Monospecific genus of columnar, strongly branched treelike plants, measuring up to 8 m high, with constricted and ribbed cylindrical stems. Ribs distinct (18-20), areoles very close-set, dark; spines of unequal length, stiff, numerous (approximately 40)
Flowers diurnal, not nocturnal as stated in Anderson (The Cactus Family, 2001) and Hunt et al. (The New Cactus Lexicon, 2006), self sterile, appearing on terminal stems, funnel-shaped, with woolly and scaly tube, opening only early in the morning, closing at about 11 am, pollinated by Xylocopa darwinii (an endemic carpenter bee), Acrosticta apicalls (an introduced fly) and Camponotus planus, an endemic ant (Jaramillo et al., 2010), with slender floral tube, with petals pinkish brown to chocolate-brown streaked with yellow. Fruits elongated, greenish, reddish to purple, at first fleshy, becoming hard when mature, almost naked, with white pulp, floral remains persistent. Seeds kidneyshaped, warty, brown to blackish, numerous.
• HABITAT
The monotypic gen us Jasminocereus grows endemically in the Galapagos islands, from sea level up to approximately 1000 m in altitude, often as isolated clumps on lava blocks, among bushes and shrubs, or in small colonies near the ocean, where they live associated among others with Opuntia echios var. gigantea and Brachycereus nesioticus.
• DISTRIBUTION
Ecuador (Galapagos Islands).

Currently only one recognised species + possible subspecies:
– Jasminocereus thouarsii* (F.A.C.Weber) Backeb. 1959

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

 

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