Autor: Britton & Rose

Anagram of Catinga (or Caatinga), Northeastern region of Brazil where the species of this genus live. It is characterized by a semi-desert xerophytic vegetation consisting of spiny deciduous shrubs and cacti.
A genus of bushy or lianiform plants, erect, climbing or crawling, with stems segmented, cylindrical, or elongated and flattened, rounded or elliptic. Leaves extremely reduced, cylindrical, deciduous. Areoles black, producing glochids which loosen easily. Spines 1-6 aciculate, of variable size, sometimes absent or falling easily.
Flowers diurnal or nocturnal, self-sterile, borne near the stem tips, perianth segments strongly recurved in some species, erect stamens not sensitive (unlike Opuntia), pale yellow tinged with greenish, brownish or purplish, or deep orange to red, with a thick, hollow and scaly floral tube, areoles with glochids, pollinated by hummingbirds or insects during the day, nocturnal pollinators unknown. Fruits elongated, fleshy, green, whitish, brownish or reddish, deeply umbilicate, remains of dried perianth deciduous. Seeds large (up to 5 mm) whitish to brownish, usually few, globose to subglobose or pyriform (pear-shaped), slightly compressed laterally, with leathery aril; funicular envelope densely covered with trichomes.
The genus Tacinga grows in the caatinga, spiny dry forest of the Brazilian northeast, also in Venezuela, on limestone or granite outcrops, on rocky soils, under trees among other cacti and succulents (Melocactus, Arrojadoa, Jatropha and caudiciform or geophytic plants), between 20 m (T. lilae) and 1550 m in altitude. Some species such as T. funalis grow with the help of tree branches, in a tangle of inextricable stems, on detrital soils.
Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe), Venezuela (Sucre).

Currently 8 recognised species + one subspecies and one hybrid:
– Tacinga braunii Esteves 1989
– Tacinga funalis* Britton & Rose 1919
– Tacinga inamoena* (K.Schum.) W.Stuppy & N.P.Taylor 2001
– Tacinga lilae* (Trujillo & M.Ponce) Majure & R.Puente 2013
– Tacinga palmadora* (Britton & Rose) W.Stuppy & N.P.Taylor 2001
– Tacinga saxatilis* (F.Ritter) W.Stuppy & N.P.Taylor 2001
– Tacinga saxatilis subsp. estevesii (P.J.Braun) W.Stuppy & N.P.Taylor 2001
– Tacinga subcylindrica (M.Machado & N.P.Taylor) M.Machado & N.P.Taylor 2011
– Tacinga werneri (Eggli) W.Stuppy & N.P.Taylor 2001
– Tacinga x quipa (F.A.C.Weber) W.Stuppy & N.P.Taylor 2001

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


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