Autor: Britton & Rose
Genus honouring Charles Lemaire, French botanist (1800-1871), see portrait above (public domain).
A genus of treelike plants with columnar stems branching from the base, also from a damaged apex. Ribs slender, areoles round and whitish, spines short, stiff and bulbous at the base.
Flowers described as diurnal for L. hollianus, nocturnal in L. lepidanthus, appearing near the apex, with lanceolate or apiculate petals, white ivory (L. hollianus) or yellow orange-coloured, pink flesh-coloured to carmine red (L. lepidanthus), with coriaceous and fleshy bracts on the pericarpel; tube of the receptacle having hairs and trichomes; outer tepals papery, greenish brown, pollinated by bats (Choeronycteris mexicana, Leptonycteris curasoae, L. nivalis). Fruits spiny and hairy, egg-shaped, reddish with purple pulp (L. hollianus), or dry, egg-shaped or pear-shaped with reddish pasty pulp (L. lepidanthus). Seeds black and shiny.
The genus Lemaireocereus grows in Central America, in volcanic areas covered with low spiny deciduous forests, from 250 m up to 1800 m in altitude (L. hollianus), together with many other cacti, mainly epiphytic, as well as Bromeliads and Orchids.
Guatemala (Chiquimula, El Progreso, Zacapa), Mexico (Puebla).
Currently 2 recognised species:
– Lemaireocereus hollianus* (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose 1909
– Lemaireocereus lepidanthus (Eichlam) Britton & Rose 1920
References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" - ISBN 978-84-617-3723-9 (Vol. 1)