Mila caespitosaAutor: Britton & Rose

Anagram of Lima, capital of Peru, also a department, where the genus was found for the first time.
Monotypic genus of small, extremely variable, caespitose, low growing plants, forming clumps from the base, with short stems, erect or prostrate, egg-shaped to cylindrical. Ribs low, areoles close-set, felted. Spines in number, size and colours very variable, aciculate.
Flowers diurnal, subapical, funnel-shaped to bell-shaped, more or less intense yellow, the outer tepals sometimes tinged with red, pollinated by bees. Fruits globose, fleshy, scaly and slightly woolly, greenish yellow to pale green tinged with red when ripe, floral remains persistent. Seeds roughly ovate, matt, warty, blackish brown.
The monotypic genus Mila grows endemically in Peru, in dry valleys or on hills often devoid of vegetation, on rocky, coarse sandy or gravely soils, often at the base of rocks, from 200 m up to about 3000 m in altitude.
Peru (Ancash, lea, Lima).

Currently a single recognised species, + maybe two subspecies, indicated here:
– Mila caespitosa* Britton & Rose 1922
– Mila caespitosa subsp. nealeana* (Backeberg) Donald 1978
– Mila caespitosa subsp. pugionifera (Rauh & Backeberg) Hunt 2005

References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3692-8 (Vol. 2)


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